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HTC quiet on Win 8 phone scrapping claims

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- HTC Corp. yesterday declined to comment on rumors it is contemplating scrapping plans to release 5-inch smartphones operating on Windows Phone 8 (WP8).

According to a Bloomberg report, HTC ditched the phones over resolution concerns — WP8 reportedly supports screen resolutions of 720 horizontal lines, while Android supports 1,080 lines.

In collaboration with foreign telecommunication firms, HTC recently launched a number of smartphones operating on Android, including the HTC Droid DNA and the HTC J Butterfly — both models have so far been garnering favorable reviews.

The HTC Butterfly released in Asian markets is expected to help stage a rebound for the Taiwanese firm during this month and the first quarter of 2013.

With regard to the rumors, Bloomberg said that in addition to HTC, Microsoft also declined to comment.

The report further pointed out that if HTC scraps the plan, Microsoft, which is locked in a fierce competition with Apple and Google, will be dealt a severe blow.

HTC reportedly drafted a plan to release large-screen WP8 phones in order to win back market share from its main competitor Samsung.

After comparing the specifications, however, HTC decided to scrap the plan, because the new model would not be able to stand up against its Android counterparts, according to Bloomberg.

HTC reportedly had less than 4.6 percent of the total smartphone market share in the third quarter of 2012 — a sharp drop from the 10.3 percent of the same period last year.

According to data released by Gartner, mobile devices operating on Android took up 72 percent of the total market share during the third quarter of 2012, while iOS devices took up 14 percent.

Hua Nan Securities Co. (華南永昌證券) Chairman David Chu (儲祥生) said that HTC's recent 5-inch Android smartphones have been garnering favorable reviews, generating a short-term stimulus for the firm.

In terms of HTC's long-term development, however, Chu said that it remains to be seen what strategies the firm comes up with.

HTC cannot compete against Apple and Samsung on the high-end market, and in terms of the low-end market, it is facing fierce competition from mainland Chinese firms; therefore, HTC has been forced to fight for survival within the mid to high-end market, he said.

Chu went on to add that HTC should release lower-priced devices with high performance-to-cost ratios in order to differentiate itself from Apple and Samsung.

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