While both HTC and Samsung had little to say about the Microsoft/Nokia deal, one of the most promising new Windows Phone OEMs, Huawei, was a little bit more forthcoming.
Speaking to the Financial Times Chen Lifang, a board member of Huawei, said their investment in Windows Phone will not be affected by the recent purchase of Nokia’s handset division by Microsoft.
Having said that, the company continues to simply dip their toe into the Windows Phone pool, and said they remain sceptical about the ability of Windows Phone to challenge the market position of Android.
For those who think Huawei is no big deal, in the same interview Chen clarified the company has no intention to purchase HTC, which I think quite firmly demonstrates how the tables have turned in the smartphone world recently.
Chen added Huawei may introduce a new brand to boost consumer awareness in a further bid to boost sales.
Yesterday’s dramatic news has left both HTC and Samsung without much to say, with both giving noncommittal responses to AllthingsD when approached for comment.
Microsoft’s Terry Myerson is quoted as saying:
"Acquiring Nokia’s Devices group will help make the market for all Windows Phones, from Microsoft or our OEM partners. We collaborate with our Microsoft hardware teams in the same way we partner with our external hardware partners… We look forward to building new products together that will provide valuable business opportunity for the ecosystem and enable OEMs."
Samsung however had no comment, while HTC said “We are assessing the situation and have no comment at this time.”
HTC is widely believed to be working on a Windows Phone version of the HTC One, and one wonders if those plans will still go ahead.
In an interview Joe Belfiore however insisted that there was room for more than Nokia.
“There’s certainly a wide, wide range of innovative things other companies [can do],” he said.
Do our readers think the other OEMs will abandon Windows Phone over the coming months? Let us know below.
The recent Fiddler-based hacks which lets Nokia users get Samsung’s exclusive apps also work pretty well for HTC users to get Nokia’s apps, including surprisingly enough Nokia Pro Camera software, which I would have expected to rely significantly on Nokia-specific changes to their phones.
WindowsBlogItalia have uploaded this video showing the app working pretty well on the platform.
Sprint recently added HTC 8XT and Samsung Ativ S Neo Windows Phone 8 devices to its lineup. HTC 8XT was launched with a price tag of $99 on 2 years contract and Samsung Ativ S Neo for $149. Within few weeks of the launch, Sprint has reduced the prices of these devices. HTC 8XT is now available for free on 2 years contract and Samsung Ativ S Neo is now available for $49.99 on 2 year contract.
The offer is part of a promotion by Sprint which cover multiple handsets and is only available for buyers who are switching from other carriers.
Check out the listings from the link below.
As per a new rumor emerged today, HTC is working on a Windows Phone variant of its flagship device HTC One. HTC was the first OEM to announce a Windows Phone 8 device. Even though both their WP8 devices 8X and 8S are decent units, they didn’t sell well because of poor marketing and Nokia’s dominance in Windows Phone market. The rumored device will have the following specs,
- 4.7 inch 1080p Super LCD 3 screen
- Beats audio
- 2GB of RAM
- 32GB of memory (unlike the 16GB used for the 8X)
Recently, HTC dismissed Digitimes’s report that HTC is leaving the Windows Phone market and said they are absolutely dedicated to their Windows Phone lineup.
When Google’s Motorola announced Moto X, customization was one of the most notable feature. Moto X lets you choose the front, the back, the accents, the wallpaper, and even color matched accessories. HTC planned a similar customization option for Sprint HTC 8XT which was launched last month, but later dropped it due to concerns over cost and complexity concerns.
The Verge reported the following about this program,
The project involved HTC’s 8XT Windows Phone device, with the idea of allowing customers to customize a range of colors on the handset. We’re told that a HTC Design Studio, planned as a web app, would have served as a method for Sprint customers to order a custom 8XT. The Design Studio included color options for speaker, accents, the two-tone highlights, and personal engraving.
Source: The Verge
Digitimes’s sources speculate that after underperforming in Q2 2013 HTC may start throwing their full weight at their Android line and “drift away from Windows Phone”.
According to the IDC HTC only shipped 400,000 Windows Phones in Q2, while Samsung shipped 1 million.
One must remember however that the Digitimes report appears to be based on speculation by unnamed sources, while the IDC’s estimates does not gel very well with data from the likes of AdDuplex which shows HTC’s Windows Phone 8 share holding up much better than Samsung’s (11.5% vs 2%), which would not happen if new handsets were not flowing into the market from HTC.
In short, the report does not seem to be well supported. With HTC having significant issues competing with Samsung on Android, I do not think they can afford not to compete in Windows Phone’s growing market also.
Do our readers agree? Let us know below.
Table via AAWP.
If Other Storage is making your HTC Windows Phone feel a bit cramped, HTC’s Make More Space App may relieve the pressure.
The app now supports both the HTC 8S and HTC 8X, and will delete temporary files not properly removed by the operating system.
Find the app in the Windows Phone Store here.
Statements by Microsoft suggest this issue will not be troubling Windows Phone users for long, as Windows Phone GDR2 will be better able to manage these temporary files.
Just like Nokia, even HTC has got IDEA Design awards for both their Windows Phone 8 devices. HTC 8S Windows Phone 8 device won a gold award whereas HTC 8X Windows Phone 8 device won a silver award for design.
HTC 8S description by HTC,
The Windows Phone 8S embodies harmony between the physical and digital experience for the user. In order to achieve this harmony, the design of the smartphone mirrors the essence of Microsoft ‘s Live Tile: an ever-changing, informational tile at the heart of the interface. This was accomplished by creating a square silhouette that reflectes the thinness and lightness of the Live Tiles. Windows Phone 8S stays true to the Windows Phone design aesthetic with its soft yet square form.
Technology has seen a revolution in which intelligent products can now look less serious and be more expressive. This is most apparent in the vivid colors of the Windows Phone 8S. The 8S has a playful twist that brings vivid, bold color to the forefront by showing off a bright color “dip,” giving the appearance of having been dipped in a bucket of paint. This creates stylish color combinations that capture a youthful and expressive demographic.
I feel sad for HTC designers who made HTC 8X and HTC 8S devices. Even though they did an incredible job, due to their company’s focus on Android devices, their work/device got sidelined. What do you think?
At a shareholders meeting HTC’s president Peter Chou expressed some hopes and wishes for the future.
"We managed to maintain a 4-percent global smartphone market share last year and we are determined to do our best to expand the percentage to 10 to 15 percent in the future," he said.
HTC once had 10% global market share, and aims to get back to that same position again.
"Give us some time and we will stage a comeback," Chou said. "We will redouble our efforts this year to further enhance our brand recognition and loyalty around the world.”
HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang said the company will focus on product innovation and upgrading of its global marketing mechanism this year.
One wonders if Windows Phone will be part of HTC’s market share ambitions. They are caught on the Android side between Samsung and the Windows Phone side against Nokia, and it seems more likely HTC will lose their 4% than gain another 11% in the near future.
HTC’s chief executive and management had their compensation halved recently due to underperformance.
Do our readers think HTC could make a comeback? Let us know below.
It seems Nokia is more than happy to go after HTC while they are down. The company has confirmed to the Inquirer that they have launched a new patent litigation offense against the Taiwanese smartphone OEM.
"Nokia has filed further cases in the United States alleging that HTC products infringe additional Nokia patents,” a Nokia spokesperson said.
"Nokia’s new actions include a second complaint to the US International Trade Commission and a complaint to the US District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego, US. These cases cover nine Nokia patents new to the dispute, bringing the total Nokia patents asserted against HTC in one or more of our actions around the world to 50."
The patents in question relate to hardware features such as enhanced speech and data transmission, efficient component layout in compact unibody designs and worldwide roaming capability, application data sharing between phones, permissions management in applications, video encoding and decoding, and expanding a device’s capabilities with new applications.
It seems Nokia is still sore about HTC using their HAAC microphones in the HTC One. A court has recently said HTC con continue to use the microphones they already purchased, supposedly in good faith, from ST Microelectronics, but needed to find a new supplier from then on.
"HTC has shown no intention to end its practices, instead it has tried to shift responsibility to its suppliers,” the spokesperson said. “We have therefore taken these further steps to hold HTC accountable for its actions.”
HTC can ill afford to be distracted or have the HTC One disrupted at present, with rumours of the company being in disarray, with numerous top level executives leaving and its finances threatening to dip into loss-making territory.
One wonders if Nokia is intent in killing off its only real Windows Phone competition, and owning 100% of that small pond.
What do our readers think? Let us know below.
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Thomas B. Pender has thrown out the Google and HTC’s patent exhaustion defense against Nokia in the ongoing patent case in US. Here is the title of the judgement, “(1) Granting Complainants['] Motion for Summary Determination that HTC and Google Cannot Establish Their Exhaustion Defense and (2) Denying Respondents['] Motion for Summary Determination on Patent Exhaustion”.
Even though HTC and Google can appeal against this judgement in the higher courts, FOSSPatents reports that such a move will not make any difference.
Google and HTC can appeal Judge Pender’s order by asking the Commission, the six-member decision-making body at the top of the U.S. trade agency, for a review. I doubt that this would change the outcome. Its patent exhaustion (and related) theories in Germany also failed to get any traction with the courts there.
Source: FOSS Patents
Will we see this again next year?
HTC has just come off a pretty rough quarter, with their revenue dropping from $2.3 billion to $1.45 billion YoY, and profit from $152 million to a bare $2.85 million.
Despite this disastrous result – their worst since 2004, HTC CEO Peter Chou said that the company was fine "in terms of cash flow," and that it would continue to support both Android and Windows Phone hardware in the near future.
HTC’s expects things to rebound greatly in Q2 2013, is is already predicted to have sold 750,000 HTC One handsets in April, and around 10 million for the full year. HTC would not have had much help from their Windows Phone handsets, with that niche dominated by Nokia, and some predicting HTC and also-ran Samsung may eventually exit the segment.
HTC is expected to release the HTC Tiara, a mid-range Windows Phone, on Sprint in the next few months, but no other Windows Phones have been leaked so far, and it is rumoured that HTC has cancelled a large-screened flagship, the HTC Zenith, due to lack of 1080P support in the current version of Windows Phone.
Do our readers think HTC will still be making Windows Phones in 2014? Let us know below.