HTC To Sell HTC-Branded Android, Windows Mobile Smartphones In China

Taiwan-based phone manufacturer HTC has been selling smartphones in China under the name Dopod for many years, but this morning the company announced that it will soon start selling TD-SCDMA-based phones with the HTC brand actually attached to them.

In a press release issued moments ago, the company said it has teamed up with carrier China Mobile to bring future HTC phones to market and formed a new distribution partnership with China’s largest electronics distributor, GOME Electrical Appliances.

Initially coming to mainland China are HTC’s newly unveiled smartphones with the Sense user interface: The HTC Tianxi, Tianyi, Desire and Wildfire.

The latter products are familiar high-end Android phones – they will be carried by mobile operator China Unicom – but this was the first I’d ever heard of the HTC Tianxi and HTC Tianyi. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, those two new phones will are touch-screen models designed exclusively for China Mobile.

One will apparently be a high-end model running Microsoft Windows Mobile OS (this one, perhaps?), the other a mid-priced device running Android. HTC reportedly expects the handsets will be available to consumers in September or October 2010.

Last year, HTC shipped 12 million phones globally. North America accounts for 50 percent of its market share, Europe for 30 percent while 20 percent comes from the rest of the world.

HTC says the move to introduce its proper brand in China is to enable it provide more after-sales service to consumers, but it’s undoubtedly also a strategy to protect itself from the fast-growing number of counterfeit HTC devices that are increasingly available on the Chinese market, as well as a way for the company to gear up for the battle against Research in Motion, Nokia and of course Apple, which isn’t yet selling the iPhone 4 in China although it introduced the iPhone 3GS in October 2009.

If you’re interested in this market, you should read our recent guest post on why Android is poised to dominate in China.

(Hat tip to Global Times)