HTC: Relationship with Microsoft unchanged after Nokia acquisition


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A representative for HTC said Friday that the company hasn’t changed its position regarding Microsoft after its multibillion deal with Nokia closed Friday.

With the acquisition, Microsoft itself is now far and away the largest Windows Phone vendor, selling hardware against partners HTC and Samsung. But a spokesman for HTC didn’t seem concerned.

“Our position remains the same: Microsoft remains a valued partner and we don’t anticipate any change to our relationship,” the HTC spokesman said in an email. Representatives for Samsung had not responded to a request for comment by press time.

The deal, originally worth about $7.2 billion, brings 25,000 new employees plus Nokia’s lineup of Lumia phones under Microsoft’s wing. Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft employee and the former chief executive of Nokia, will lead an expanded Devices business unit that will include the Lumia line of phones and tablets, the Surface tablet line, as well as Xbox products. 

According to numbers released this week by Nielsen, Windows Phone represents 3 percent of the U.S. smartphone market. Nokia—now Microsoft—represented 2 percent of the total market, or about two-thirds of all Windows Phones sold within the United States. HTC’s Windows Phones made up about 0.4 percent of the U.S. market, while Samsung’s Windows Phone totaled about 0.3 percent of the market. 

Microsoft has made allowances to help hardware partners develop Windows Phones and Windows tablets by eliminating licensing costs for hardware that's smaller than 9 inches. Still, analysts and others had wondered whether HTC and Samsung would continue to support Windows Phone after the deal closed. Although HTC's latest flagship phone, the One (M8), runs Android, it looks like Microsoft will continue to have another hardware partner in the Windows Phone ecosystem.

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