Nokia's moment in the spotlight as the lead Windows Phone device manufacturer seems to be over.
HTC has told Pocket-lint that it will be the lead manufacturer used to promote Windows Phone 8 and that the Windows Phone 8X by HTC will be the flagship device used in all the marketing of Windows Phone 8 around the globe.
"Pairing these beautiful new HTC phones with our Windows Phone brand is a big milestone for both of our companies and our partnership," said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, on the new arrangement. "Together we are offering customers a simple choice and a truly unique experience."
Nokia, which has announced the yet-to-ship Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 devices, will no doubt be devastated by the news. Nokia seemed shocked when we spoke to them, but promised to get an answer back on what HTC and Microsoft's announcement actually means.
The company, which joined the Windows Phone 8 pack 18 months ago, and almost single-handedly worked to promote the operating system, is likely now to play second fiddle to the new kid on the block, HTC.
"We’ve been inspired by Windows Phone 8 to create new smartphones that give the platform the iconic design and personality it deserves," said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation. "Windows Phone has clearly emerged as one of the top mobile ecosystems and is competitive against any other smartphone platform in the world."
HTC has previously had the HTC Mozart, Trophy, Titan, and Titan II, the last of which was only ever released in the US. The new launches, which will have a huge global rollout, changes that approach.
"Because colour is such an integral part of the Windows Phone experience, HTC is bringing bold, sophisticated and adventurous colours in a premium matte finish to these devices including California Blue, Graphite Black, Flame Red and Limelight Yellow for the Windows Phone 8X by HTC and Domino Black- White, Fiesta Red, Atlantic Blue and High-Rise Grey-Yellow for the Windows Phone 8S by HTC," says the company, explaining why Microsoft gave them the call in the first place.
The Windows Phone 8X by HTC will be available in 50 countries beginning in early November with 126 mobile operators. The Windows Phone 8S by HTC will be available in 52 countries beginning in November with more than 146 mobile operators.
With those numbers it's not surprising that HTC has confirmed that all the usual players and retail outlets will be carrying both devices in the UK and the US.
In the UK the Windows Phone 8X and 8S by HTC will be available on Three, Orange, T- Mobile, Vodafone, O2, Virgin Media, Carphone Warehouse, and Phones4u.
In the US you'll be able to get the phones on AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.