HTC unveiled two Windows Phone 8 devices back in September, the flagship Windows Phone 8X [product information] and the Windows Phone 8S [product information]. While the former is now available from a number of carriers both in the U.S. and Canada, it’s been far quieter for the latter. In a statement to Engadget, HTC has now confirmed that it will not launch in the U.S.:
“The Windows Phone 8X by HTC is our signature Windows Phone available at AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless in the U.S. With our focus on the Windows Phone 8X by HTC, the Windows Phone 8S is not currently planned for distribution in the U.S. market.”
The Verge has learned that HTC’s original plans were somewhat different. The 8S was set to launch with T-Mobile USA as a budget handset. Its availability came into question as Microsoft focused on U.S. carrier testing the Qualcomm 8960 chipset found in the 8X (as well as the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820) over that of the 8S’s Qualcomm 8227 chipset. The delays appear to have forced HTC’s hand.
We have reached out to HTC to find out whether we will still see the Windows Phone 8S in Canada. Don’t hold your breath but you never know.
For those who still prefer the Windows Phone 8S to its more powerful sibling, it may still show up unlocked at some online retailers specializing in such devices.