HTC May Join Windows Phone 8 Bandwagon
HTC is reportedly planning to add Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 software to its smartphone range, as it struggles in the Android market
HTC is hoping to rejuvenate its business with smartphones running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 software, Reuters reported on 6 September.
The Taiwan-based smartphone maker made its name in the United States with Android-running devices such as the Droid Evo 4G and the Droid Incredible, but the tremendous success of Samsung’s Galaxy devices have worked to leave HTC and others with dwindling market shares.
Withdrawal from US
In April, HTC chief executive Peter Chou acknowledged that the company was having a hard time competing in the United States and would shift its focus to European and Asian markets, where it has been somewhat more successful.
Jason Mackenzie, HTC’s president of sales and marketing, told Reuters that HTC doesn’t plan to scale back its Android effort but to grow its Windows Phone offering alongside it.
“I feel very strongly we’ve got very concrete carrier support in every region around the world, including the United States, and I’m not talking about just one carrier,” Mackenzie said, according to the report. “Our plan is to go big on Windows 8.”
Nokia is for now Microsoft’s biggest partner in Windows Phone, which will launch during the fourth quarter. On 5 September Nokia introduced two smartphones that will run the OS, the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, though it hasn’t yet shared pricing or carrier information.
HTC’s change of strategy suggests how difficult it is to compete for US consumers – a sentiment repeated by analysts in response to the new Nokia devices.
“Nokia has delivered a device that although not underwhelming serves to remind us how difficult the task of winning back mindshare in this space will be,” Lee Simpson, an equity analyst with Jefferies wrote in a 5 September research note.
Mackenzie suggested to Reuters that device makers have so far devoted their top design teams to their Android efforts and treated Windows Phone designs as more of an afterthought – a theory that Nokia would surely take exception to, but one that shows how HTC believes it can compete.
HTC’s phones haven’t been poorly executed – some reviewers have preferred the HTC One X to the Galaxy S III, which debuted around the same time and has been a hit, with more than 20 million sold within 100 days, Samsung announced recently – the HTC phones just haven’t sold well, given the degree of competition.
“We believe customers overwhelmingly choose the Samsung Galaxy S III versus the HTC One Series when purchasing higher-end Android smartphones,” Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley wrote in a 3 September research note. “With increasing supply of the Samsung Galaxy III at all four leading US carriers during August, our checks indicated weaker HTC One Series sales despite increased carrier promotions such as AT&T dropping the HTC One X to $100 (£62) versus $200 for the Galaxy S III.”
HTC has forecast that its third-quarter sales may be down by more than 20 percent – an even more dour prediction than Wall Street expected.
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