Taiwan’s leading phone manufacturer HTC Corp has launched two smartphones – the Windows Phone 8S and the Windows Phone 8X – based on Windows Phone 8 software from Microsoft Corp.
Come November, the phones will be available globally via several wireless service providers – with top US mobile operators Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile USA set to sell the 8X, and over 150 operators in 50 countries planning to sell both phones.
The colorful phones will place HTC in direct competition with key Microsoft partner Nokia, which unveiled brightly colored Windows phones earlier this September.
HTC, like Nokia, is lagging behind industry leaders Samsung Electronics and Apple, and needs strong sales results from its newest smartphones to stay relevant in the market. HTC, previously a producer of contract smartphones, was successful in selling Android software-based phones until it experienced a drastic, largely competition-based, decline in revenue during the latter half of 2011.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is depending on the sales of HTC’s Windows Phone 8 models during the holiday season to help it regain ground lost to Google and Apple in the smartphone software market.
Michael Gartenberg, Gartner analyst, predicted that the bright colors and simple design of the HTC and Nokia phones as well as the competition between the two would attract interest and publicity for all three companies.
HTC Faces Stiff Competition In Smartphone Market
As proof of HTC’s stiff competition, the same day HTC made its announcement, South Korea’s LG chose to unveil the Android-based Optimum G with a “quad core” processor; at that time, Samsung chose to announce holiday sales of its Galaxy Note II, an update of the Galaxy Note I, with its 5.5” high definition display.
To date, however, Apple is the strongest of HTC’s competitors. The staggering number of pre-orders for Apple’s new iPhone 5 will make it most difficult for HTC to close the gap left by disappointing sales figures of its One series of phones earlier this year.
Nonetheless, HTC should benefit from the marketing assistance offered through its new collaboration with Microsoft as the new phones are being branded the “signature” Windows Phone 8 smartphones.
With its wide range of operators around the globe, HTC is already showing signs that its partnership with Microsoft could be much more successful than that of Nokia, which faltered against the formidable iPhone 5 earlier this month, and did not name any customers for its newest phones.
Key Statistics - World Smartphone Market
- From 2011 to 2015, the smartphone device market worldwide should rise at a CAGR of nearly 25%, largely due to the lowering of smartphone prices (source: TechNavio).
- By 2016, the smartphone security market around the world should rise to almost $3 billion at a CAGR of nearly 44% between 2011 and 2016; major concerns in the smartphone industry at present are the incompatibility of security software and mobile handsets, and battery overdrain (source: MarketsandMarkets).
- From 2011 to 2015, the market for smartphone application processors worldwide is expected to expand at a CAGR of nearly 50% (source: TechNavio).