HTC and China Mobile sign TD-SCDMA handset deal

Taiwanese handset vendor HTC has signed a memorandum of understanding with China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator by subscriber numbers, that will see the two firms collaborate on the development of smartphones for China’s home-grown TD-SCDMA cellular standard.

The two firms said the project will see them co-operate on technical research, product development, market research and customer service. While the 3G TD-SCDMA standard will provide the initial focus, the companies will also work together on the development of handsets for TD-LTE.

China Mobile’s chairman Wang Jianzhou paid tribute to HTC’s achievements in the smartphone sector, describing the vendor’s performance as “most impressive”. HTC has established a strong position in the market for smartphones based on the Windows Mobile operating system and taken the lead in the nascent Android sector.

“HTC is today a brand recognised and respected across Greater China,” Wang said. “We are exceptionally pleased with this opportunity to partner with HTC and to meet future challenges as one. Together, we look forward to expanding the TD-SCDMA industry chain and spurring development of the Cross-Strait telecommunications sector. We look for this partnership to become a model of cooperation.”

HTC’s CEO Peter Chou pledged to deliver to Chinese consumers “mobile telecommunication products incorporating cutting-edge conveniences, features and technologies.”

Chou is known to be keen to extend the reach of the HTC brand, which historically has played second fiddle to the brands of carriers and OS developers as the firm has focused on white-label handsets. The firm’s recent Android handset launches have seen the HTC brand brought more to the fore and, speaking in June this year, Chou said that the firm’s strategy is now to: “differentiate ourselves and build a closer relationship with [consumers].”

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