HTC announced two Windows Phones at an event in New York City yesterday. We didn’t cover those devices on this site for obvious reasons, but everyone at Android Central tuned into the live blogs to hear what HTC had to say about their relationship with Microsoft. Apparently these new handsets, dubbed the 8X and the 8S, are going to be “flagship” Windows Phone 8 devices that will be co-marketed with Microsoft. What exactly does that mean for HTC’s relationship with Google?
Taking a step back for a second, let’s look at HTC as a whole. The company peaked in 2010 thanks to their stellar portfolio of Android devices. When Samsung announced the Galaxy S II in February 2011, that’s when things started going to, pardon our French, complete and utter shit. HTC’s flagship device that year, the Sensation, failed to impress anyone. The company had to cut their sales forecast in November of last year, citing increased competition. When HTC announced the One X in February 2012, people sure liked it, but then again everyone wanted to see the Galaxy S III first before buying a new smartphone. That response dragged sales down even further. Let’s also not forget the sales ban thanks to Apple.
Back to Windows Phone, is HTC looking to cozy up with Microsoft because they need money? In case you haven’t heard, Microsoft gives Nokia $250 million every quarter to stay alive. Could HTC be looking for a similar type of deal? We don’t have access to that information, we’re just speculating out loud.
HTC’s problems, when you really stop and think about it, stem from the fact that they don’t actually make anything. They buy components from various companies, pay another company to put them together, and then sell those fully assembled products to consumers. They’ll never get the type of margins that Samsung gets because Samsung actually makes their own screens, their own processors, their own memory chips, and so and so forth.
We certainly hope HTC doesn’t bet the farm on Windows Phone, like Nokia did, but at the same time we wouldn’t be surprised to see that actually happen.