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HTC unveils two smartphones running on Microsoft's Windows Phone 8

HTC unveils two smartphones running on Microsoft's Windows Phone 8
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HTC unveils two smartphones running on Microsoft's Windows Phone 8

In pic: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (L) and HTC CEO Peter Chou display new Microsoft Windows 8 operating system phones at a launch event in New York September 19, 2012. HTC Corp on Wednesday unveiled two brightly colored smartphones running Microsoft Corp's Windows Phone 8 software and said the devices -- the Windows Phone 8X and the Windows Phone 8S -- would be available in November with several operators around the world. REUTERS

Also check: Full coverage: Apple iPhone 5 | LG unveils Optimus G smartphone | Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 Windows smartphones | Amazon unveils Kindle tablets

Text courtesy: Reuters

HTC Corp unveiled on Wednesday two smartphone models running Microsoft Corp's Windows Phone 8 software and said the devices would be available in November through multiple wireless service providers around the world.

HTC Windows Phone 8X: To pit directly against Nokia
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HTC Windows Phone 8X: To pit directly against Nokia

The two brightly colored phones - the Windows Phone 8X and the Windows Phone 8S will pit HTC directly against key Microsoft partner Nokia, which earlier this month also launched two colorful Windows phone models.

HTC Windows Phone 8S: Stiff competition from Apple, Samsung
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HTC Windows Phone 8S: Stiff competition from Apple, Samsung

Like Nokia, HTC is under pressure to generate strong sales from its next round of smartphones as it has lost significant ground to Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc.

Steve Ballmer displays the new HTC Windows Phone 8X and 8S
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Steve Ballmer displays the new HTC Windows Phone 8X and 8S

In pic:Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer displays the new HTC Windows Phone 8X and the HTC Windows Phone 8S (L) during their launch event in New York September 19, 2012. HTC Corp on Wednesday unveiled two brightly colored smartphones running Microsoft Corp's Windows Phone 8 software and said the devices -- the Windows Phone 8X and the Windows Phone 8S - would be available in November with several operators around the world. REUTERS

With Apple boasting 2 million pre-orders of its latest iPhone before it hits store shelves on September 21, Reticle Research analyst Ross Rubin said it was going to be challenging for HTC to catch up.

HTC Windows Phone 8X: To count on marketing help from Microsoft
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HTC Windows Phone 8X: To count on marketing help from Microsoft

HTC, which has generated most of its sales from phones based on Google Inc's Android software in recent years, will be able to count on marketing help from Microsoft.

HTC Windows Phone 8S: Steve Ballmer says consumers will love it
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HTC Windows Phone 8S: Steve Ballmer says consumers will love it

The new devices will be marketed as the "signature" Windows Phone 8 smartphones, Jason Mackenzie, HTC's global head of sales, told attendees at the company's New York launch event, where Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer also came on stage.

"Consumers are going to love these phones, and we're committed to reaching them in a manner that's clear and direct," Ballmer said.

Shares of HTC climbed after launch of new Windows phones
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Shares of HTC climbed after launch of new Windows phones

In pic:The new HTC 8S and HTC 8X cell phones are unveiled at a news conference September 19, 2012 in New York. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and HTC CEO Peter Chou were present to introduce the new phones. AFP

Shares of HTC climbed as much as 2 per cent in early trading in Taipei before erasing the gains being down 0.16 percent by 0216 GMT. The broader market fell 0.42 per cent.

HTC's new Windows phones may not result in stronger sales
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HTC's new Windows phones may not result in stronger sales

In pic:The new HTC 8S and HTC 8X cell phones were unveiled at a news conference September 19, 2012 in New York. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and HTC CEO Peter Chou were present to introduce the new phones. AFP

Some fund managers were wary of the ability of the new Windows phones to result in much stronger sales for HTC in the fourth quarter, despite their good designs and form factors, as the market share of the Microsoft's operating system remains small.

HTC's performance may be so-so this year
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HTC's performance may be so-so this year

In pic:The new HTC 8S and HTC 8X cell phones were unveiled at a news conference on September 19, 2012 in New York. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and HTC CEO Peter Chou were present to introduce the new phones. AFP

"Even with the rumored new Android models coming up, HTC's performance will be so-so this year, because its phones are still lagging behind Samsung," said Michael On, a managing director of Beyond Asset Management in Taipei, which does not own HTC shares.

Success of HTC Windows phones will be crucial to Microsoft
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Success of HTC Windows phones will be crucial to Microsoft

In pic:Windows Phone 8X (R) and the Windows Phone 8S models are displayed during their launch event in New York September 19, 2012. HTC Corp on Wednesday unveiled two brightly colored smartphones running Microsoft Corp's Windows Phone 8 software and said the devices -- the Windows Phone 8X and the Windows Phone 8S -- would be available in November with several operators around the world. REUTERS

The success of HTC and Nokia Windows Phone 8 devices this holiday shopping season will be crucial to Microsoft, which has been left far behind by Apple and Google in the smartphone software market in the last several years.

Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg said HTC and Nokia were smart to distinguish the appearance of their devices from iPhone with bright colors as it could make them stand out to customers who want an iPhone alternative.

HTC phones will build publicity around Windows Phone 8 OS
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HTC phones will build publicity around Windows Phone 8 OS

"The best thing about these device ranges is that neither looks like an iPhone," said Gartenberg, who added that competition between Nokia and HTC will also help to generate some publicity around Windows Phone 8 software.

Taiwan's HTC was able to share more signs of success at its device launch event in New York than did Nokia at its phone launch here earlier this month.

HTC's two new phones will go on sale in 50 countries
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HTC's two new phones will go on sale in 50 countries

In pic: HTC Windows Phone 8S are displayed during their launch event in New York September 19, 2012. HTC Corp on Wednesday unveiled two brightly colored smartphones running Microsoft Corp's Windows Phone 8 software and said the devices -- the Windows Phone 8X and the Windows Phone 8S -- would be available in November with several operators around the world. REUTERS

While Nokia did not name any customers for its latest Lumia phones, HTC said that together its two new phones would go on sale at 150 operators in 50 countries around the world.

For example, it said that either the X8 or the XS will go on sale at three of the top four US mobile operators - Verizon Wireless , AT&T Inc and T-Mobile USA.

HTC One series has failed to keep pace with Apple, Samsung
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HTC One series has failed to keep pace with Apple, Samsung

Until now, HTC has been betting on its One series of phones, but so far this year sales of those phones have failed to keep pace with the Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy range.

Up to the second half of 2011, when it suffered a sharp decline in its fortunes, HTC, a former contract smartphone maker, had built a strong brand around the world with phones based on Android software.

HTC set to announce Q3 results on October 5
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HTC set to announce Q3 results on October 5

In pic:Windows Phone 8X models are displayed during their launch event in New York September 19, 2012.. HTC Corp on Wednesday unveiled two brightly colored smartphones running Microsoft Corp's Windows Phone 8 software and said the devices -- the Windows Phone 8X and the Windows Phone 8S -- would be available in November with several operators around the world. REUTERS

HTC saw its profit more than halve in the second quarter from a year ago. It also warned of a revenue decline of as much as 23 per cent in the third quarter from the previous three months due to macro softness and competition.

The smartphone maker is set to announce third-quarter results on October 5.

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