Nokia's head of marketing has issued a veiled criticism of HTC's new Windows Phone 8 handsets, after they were described by Microsoft as the signature and hero products for the forthcoming operating system.
The devices, the 8X and 8S, were revealed this afternoon at a press conference this afternoon by HTC CEO Peter Chou and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The Microsoft chief described the handsets as a 'milestone' for both companies and 'hero products' and the phones were described as 'the first signature Windows Phones'.
This claim raised questions about Nokia's relationship with Microsoft, having signed a deal early last year to switch away from its native OS to the Windows Phone ecosystem. While HTC also produces a range of Android devices, Nokia is putting its efforts into producing a range of Windows Phone smartphones. Nokia revealed its latest Lumia devices earlier this month.
In a tweet within minutes of HTC's press conference finishing, head of marketing Chris Weber took aim at the colourful range of new HTC devices. Using the #switchtolumia hashtag of its recent launch event, he said: 'It takes more than matching colour to match the innovation of the Lumia 920.'
A UK spokesman for Nokia said he did not know what Ballmer's statement this afternoon means for the relationship between it and Microsoft. He added: 'The difference between those handsets and ours is we have software in place that they don't. We have done an awful lot of work on the apps set with the likes of CityLens.'
A Microsoft spokesman said: 'Our partnership with Nokia is very important for Windows Phone and we are thrilled by the response to the Lumia 820 and 920 two weeks ago. They are beautiful devices that will build on the success of the Lumia line. In addition to Nokia, we work with a variety of other OEMs that provide their own distinct features and characteristics. The result is a rich ecosystem of Windows Phones offering plenty of options for customers.'
Editor: Graeme Neill