HTC will begin selling its first HTC-branded smartphones in China in an apparent move to strengthen its foothold in the country’s increasingly competitive cell phone market, which includes rivals Apple, Nokia and Samsung.
The push includes a partnership with China Mobile and the launch of four smartphones, the Tianxi, Tianyi, Desire and Wildfire. Details of the partnership with China Mobile, which has 554 million wireless subscribers, were not announced.
“The pace of mobile innovation globally is moving at an extraordinary rate, and we are excited to be bringing many of our most innovative phones to China, the largest and most sophisticated mobile market in the world,” said HTC CEO Peter Chou in a statement.
HTC didn’t list pricing or availability for the four devices, all of which come equipped with HTC Sense. No technical information has been posted by HTC about the Tianxi or Tianyi, but the Desire and Wildfire are both listed as Android 2.1 devices on its website. The new phones for the Chinese market likely will be compatible with TD-SCDMA, China’s home-grown wireless standard.
The company also announced a partnership with China’s largest electronics distributor, Gome Electrical Appliances. HTC has partnered in the past with Dopod to bring phones to the Chinese market, but this will be the first time it launches its own branded devices into the market.