HTC is not forgoing the Windows Phone platform. The once high-flying handset OEM may have a focus on Android-based phones, but Microsoft’s latest mobile operating system remains one of its priorities.
According to HTC’s Tai Ito, as quoted by CNET, the company is “fully committed to our Windows Phone business” and has “good collaboration with Microsoft for a future release this year.” This is good news for Windows Phone itself, which has endured low unit volume for years, leading some to speculate that OEMs might drop the platform altogether.
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Windows Phone 8, the latest iteration of Microsoft’s smartphone operating system, has been the strongest yet, with sales and developer interest growing. However, Windows Phone remains all but a bit player compared to the iOS and Android platforms that constitute the vast majority of the market.
HTC released the 8X handset as part of the Windows Phone 8 cycle, to acclaim. That critical and market response could be the reason behind the company intending another device on the platform.
The company faces stiff competition from Nokia, Microsoft’s favored OEM partner for mobile. Still, as the 8X demonstrated, smart design and a snappy user experience can move demand from one OEM to the next. Simply because Nokia is the first son does not meant that HTC can’t come to control a large slice of the Windows Phone market.
What form the next HTC Windows Phone device will take isn’t yet known, but in CNET’s estimation it won’t be a large-screened phone, a current design trend that fuses tablet-sized displays onto smartphones. I agree with this analysis: Windows Phone would be ridiculous on such a screen.