HTC Won't Be Releasing Mid-Range Windows Phone 8 Handsets In The U.S.

By Khurram Aziz | Dec 04, 2012 08:47 AM EST

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Taiwanese smartphone company HTC has said that it will not sell its new HTC 8S handset in the US in the near term, in a bid to focus on high-end sales.

The company was one of the first in the market to release a device running Microsoft's newly-released Windows Phone 8 operating system, alongside Nokia, with its HTC 8X device.

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Earlier in September, the company also announced a budget version of the device called the 8S.  The device will feature a Gorilla Glass-coated 4-inch WVGA LCD screen with a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and a dual-core 1GHz Snapdragon S4 processor. The HTC 8X, on the other hand, has a 4.3-inch display with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera. 

However, the company has since sent a statement to Engadget saying that the 8S device is not meant for the US market.

"The Windows Phone 8X by HTC is our signature Windows Phone available at AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless in the US. With our focus on the Windows Phone 8X by HTC, the Windows Phone 8S is not currently planned for distribution in the US market," said HTC.

The statement contradicts a report from Techradar which said that Jason Mackenzie, HTC's president of global sales and marketing, announced during a press event that both the 8X and 8S will launch on AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile USA sometime in November.

Microsoft released Windows Phone 8 towards the end of October as an attempt to claw back smartphone and tablet users from Google's Android and Apple's iOS platforms. The launch was timed to coincide with the release of Microsoft's new desktop version of Windows.

Both Nokia and HTC are the standard-bearers of Windows Phone devices; however, while Nokia has had a relatively long partnership with Microsoft, HTC has only recently begun releasing Windows Phone smartphones.

For a longtime the Taiwanese firm had relied on Android devices to grow its business, but, in 2010, it was sued by Microsoft, with the US firm accusing Android of infringing patents on its flagship operating system. The two companies subsequently entered into a license agreement, the fruits of which include HTC agreeing to make Windows Phone handsets.

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