Windows Phone made its official debut in China today with the HTC Eternity.
The Eternity is an unlocked handset with a 4.7-inch screen, front- and rear-facing cameras, and comes with Chinese apps, according to the official Windows Phone blog, which adds that models from Nokia and other manufacturers will be coming to China later this year.
At its launch event in Beijing, Microsoft showed off the HTC handset as well as some yet-to-launch models from Nokia, all running a localized Windows Phone 7.5 operating system for China, according to PCWorld.
China will likely become the world’s biggest smartphone market this year, reports Bloomberg, which says that at Microsoft’s launch event, Simon Leung, Microsoft’s CEO for the greater China region, said the company is aiming to beat Apple, then local market leader Google’s Android.
Windows Phone will account for 7.5 percent of the China market this year, trailing the 12 percent share of Apple’s IOS and Android’s 70 percent, said Teck-Zhung Wong, a Beijing-based analyst at IDC. By next year, Windows share will rise to 15 percent, surpassing Apple’s 13 percent, while still trailing Android’s 66 percent, he said.
Worldwide, Windows Phone’s market share is still tiny at 1.4 percent, according to research firm Canalys.
(Photo of Windows Phone from Microsoft)