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HTC reportedly making ‘big’ plans with Microsoft as it cuts smartphone shipments for 2013

HTC is predicted to have a shaky start to the new year, but the manufacturer is reportedly in talks with Microsoft to bolster its Windows Phone 8 presence.

As industry big shots Samsung and Apple continue to dominate the smartphone market, a new report from DigiTimes reveals that HTC plans to cut its smartphone orders for the first quarter. The company has also slashed the development of new handset models, although the report did not go into further detail. HTC’s projected shipment growth for Q1 2013 has shrunk in half, decreasing from between 20 and 30 percent to the 10 to 15 percent range.

HTC has yet to comment on these numbers, but the company’s CEO Peter Chou recently met with Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer concerning its smartphones, Bloomberg reports. Chou sought to discuss the low screen resolution that pushed his company to scrap its plans for a larger smartphone using Microsoft’s mobile platform. HTC has envisioned a large screen smartphone similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Note brand, and this meeting between Chou and Ballmer is said to be on of several throughout the year.

Although the first quarter of 2013 doesn’t look to bright for HTC, the hardware manufacturer could prove to be particularly beneficial for Microsoft. HTC, which has received positive reviews for its past Windows Phone devices, could help Microsoft become a player in the mobile world, alongside Samsung and Apple.

“HTC is important to Microsoft because they put together one beautiful smartphone and when you have that kind of DNA, you have a company that can boost general acceptance and market share,” Ramon Llamas, an analyst at IDC, said to Bloomberg. “If you want bigger market share, getting multiple vendors is the name of the game.”

In turn, Microsoft is also putting a lot of stake in Nokia, since the company became a leading Windows partner last year in a move to expand its smartphone reach.

Although HTC’s previous Windows Phone models have received praise, a study has shown that Nokia’s Lumia 920 is the most popular Windows Phone 8 device. Mobile ad company Ad Duplex conducted a study in early December evaluating the popularity of each Windows Phone 8 handset. The data was broken down by individual device, and found that the Lumia 920 is the most widely used Windows Phone 8 smartphone. 

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