Fri, Jun 22, 2012 - Page 14 News List

HTC cements Microsoft ties with new Windows 8

PROFITABLE PARTNERSHIP:The software firm’s latest smartphone software will be in HTC’s new product line, continuing what has been a very lucrative relationship

By George Liao  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

HTC Corp (宏達電), the world’s No. 5 smartphone maker, yesterday pledged its ongoing support of Microsoft Corp by backing the new Windows Phone 8 platform, the company said in a statement.

The company said it expects to roll out new Windows Phone 8 smartphones later this year.

“HTC is committed to Windows Phone more than ever and we are excited to be bringing new Windows Phone 8-enabled smartphones to customers later this year,” chief executive officer Peter Chou (周永明) said in a statement.

The Taiwanese company has sold more than 40 million phones using Microsoft’s software over the past 12 years since their partnership began in 2000.

Terry Myerson, corporate vice president of Windows Phone at Microsoft, said in the same statement that HTC is one of the US software giant’s closest partners, as the two firms share a common goal in driving people-centric innovation.

Myerson was among the few guests attending the opening ceremony of HTC’s global headquarters in Sindian District (新店), New Taipei City (新北市), on June 13.

“We have seen great momentum for Windows Phone since its launch in 2010, with 100,000 apps now in the marketplace,” Myerson said. “We can’t wait to see how HTC brings Windows Phone 8 to its product portfolio.”

Separately, HTC said on Wednesday that it would offer repair services for users with Wi-Fi connectivity problems in its One X flagship smartphone, following media reports that some consumers have complained about the issue.

The affected users ascribed the problem to a hardware issue rather than a software issue, because if they hold the phone in a certain way, they can obtain an improved signal, the reports said.

HTC said in an e-mail that it acknowledged the problem and apologized for any inconvenience to users while it investigates further.

“We have identified a fix that strengthens the area of the phone around the Wi-Fi antennae connection points,” the company said.

HTC is not the only big name to have faced antenna problems in recent years.

In 2010, Apple Inc experienced a similar problem with its iPhone 4.

Dubbed “antenna-gate,” Apple’s former chief executive officer Steve Jobs described the issue as “a challenge for the entire industry,” saying that every phone has weak spots.

In February this year, Apple agreed to compensate iPhone 4 users in the US over the antenna issue, offering them a US$15 refund or a free bumper case.

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