Taiwan’s HTC Corp (宏達電) unveiled its first smartphones powered by Microsoft Corp’s Windows 8 on Wednesday, in a boost for the US software giant’s efforts to break into a market dominated by Apple Inc and Google Inc.
HTC and Microsoft previewed the 8X and 8S handsets in New York, boasting that they feature “iconic design,” studio-quality sound and “incredible camera capabilities.”
The companies said the HTC sets would be available from November in at least 50 countries
“We’ve been inspired by Windows Phone 8 to create new smartphones that give the platform the iconic design and personality it deserves,” HTC chief executive Peter Chou (周永明) said. “Windows Phone has clearly emerged as one of the top mobile ecosystems and is competitive against any other smartphone platform in the world.”
The news comes two weeks after Finland-based Nokia Oyj unveiled its smartphones powered by Windows Phone 8, Microsoft’s upgraded mobile operating system that aims to compete with Apple’s iOS used on the iPhone and a multitude of Google Android handsets.
“Pairing HTC’s beautiful new Windows Phone 8X and 8S with our brand is a big milestone for both companies,” Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said. “Together we are offering customers a clear choice and a truly unique experience. I’m thrilled to take our longstanding partnership to the next level.”
The smartphones will feature an ultra-wide-angle front-facing camera that allows four or more people to be captured in one shot, and also allows for high-definition video capture.
HTC said its Beats Audio “provides authentic, studio-quality sound that delivers the spirit of the original recording.”
The phones will have displays matching or exceeding that of the new iPhone 5, and will use the newest version of Corning’s lightweight Gorilla Glass.