Taipei, June 21 (CNA) Taiwan's HTC Corp. announced Thursday that it has joined various other mobile device makers in backing Microsoft Corp.'s new Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system, extending the two companies' long mobile partnership.
The world's No. 5 smartphone vendor said it will bring new Windows Phone 8 smartphones to market later this year, as the Taoyuan-based company has sold more than 40 million phones using Microsoft software over the past 12 years.
"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," HTC CEO Peter Chou said in a statement.
Terry Myerson, corporate vice president of Windows Phone at Microsoft, said that HTC is one of Microsoft's closest partners and shares a common goal of driving innovation, which makes it easy for the two companies to work together.
The software giant is also partnered with South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co., Finnish maker Nokia and China's Huawei Technologies Co. to produce the new Windows Phone 8 models, which will feature voice commands and near-field communication for wireless transactions.
In February 2011, Microsoft and Nokia announced plans to form a broad strategic partnership that will use their complementary strengths and expertise.
But this partnership has had little impact, as Windows phones amounted to only 2.71 million units, or 1.9 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, in the first quarter of 2012, down from the 2.6 percent in the same period of 2011, according to research firm Gartner Inc.
Google Inc.'s Android and Apple Inc.'s iOS won more ground at the same time to become the two most popular mobile platforms, taking 56.1 percent and 22.9 percent market shares, respectively, Gartner said.
(By Jeffrey Wu)