HTC on Wednesday unveiled two smartphone models running Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 operating system and said the devices would be available in November through more than 150 service providers in over 50 countries globally.
The two brightly coloured phones - the Windows Phone 8X and the Windows Phone 8S - will pit HTC directly against key Microsoft partner Nokia, which earlier this month also launched two colorful Windows phone models and also Samsung which recently unveiled the Aitv S, the first Windows Phone 8 smartphone.
Like Nokia, HTC is under a lot of pressure to generate strong sales from its next round of smartphones as it has lost significant ground to Samsung Electronics and Apple.
With Apple boasting 2 million pre-orders of its latest iPhone before it hits store shelves on September 21, Reticle Research analyst Ross Rubin said, it's going to be challenging for HTC to catch up.
However, HTC, which has generated most of its sales from phones based on Google's Android software in recent years, will be able to count on marketing help from Microsoft.
The new devices will be marketed as the "signature" Windows Phone 8 smartphones, Jason Mackenzie, HTC's global head of sales, told attendees on Wednesday at the company's New York launch event, where Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer also came on stage.
"Consumers are going to love these phones, and we're committed to reaching them in a manner that's clear and direct," Ballmer said.
The HTC Windows Phone 8X includes a 2.1mp, f/2.0 aperture, 88° wide angle front-facing camera, that also supports 1080p video capture. The 8X comes with an 8 megapixel rear camera and the 8S has a 5 megapixel sensor.
The HTC 8X has a 4.3-inch HD-resolution super LCD 2 and the HTC 8S' super LCD screen measures 4-inches. The 8X and 8S screens have Gorilla Glass protection.
Weighing 130 grams, the HTC 8X is powered by a dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm processor. The phone has 1GB RAM and comes with 16GB of storage and an 1800 mAh battery. The comparatively lower speced and lighter at 113 grams, the HTC 8S is powered by a dual-core 1 GHz Qualcomm processor. The 8S has 512 MB RAM and has 16GB of internal storage and a 1700 mAh battery.
The Windows Phone 8X will come in California Blue, Graphite Black, Flame Red and Limelight Yellow colour options. The Windows Phone 8S by HTC will be available in Domino, Fiesta Red, Atlantic Blue and High-Rise Gray.
The success of HTC and Nokia Windows Phone 8 devices this holiday shopping season will be crucial to Microsoft, which has been left far behind by Apple and Google in the smartphone software market in the last several years.
"The best thing about these device ranges is that neither looks like an iPhone," said Gartenberg, who added that competition between Nokia and HTC will also help to generate some publicity around Windows Phone 8 software.
Taiwan's HTC was able to share more signs of success at its device launch event in New York than did Nokia at its phone launch here earlier this month.
While Nokia did not name any customers for its latest Lumia phones, HTC said that together its two new phones would go on sale at 150 operators in 50 countries around the world.
Until now, HTC has been betting on its One series of phones, but so far this year sales of those phones have failed to keep pace with the Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy range.
Up to the second half of 2011, when it suffered a sharp decline in its fortunes, HTC, a former contract smartphone maker, had build a strong brand around the world with phones based on Android software.
HTC saw its profit more than halve in the second quarter from a year ago. It also warned of a revenue decline of as much as 23 per cent in the third quarter from the previous three months due to macro softness and competition.
The smartphone maker is set to announce third-quarter results on October 5.
Source : ibnlive