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As predicted, there was no new iPhone announced at WWDC this year, lending further credence to rumors that Apple plans to move introduction of the next model to September to coincide with iOS 5 -- a move that is likely to give Android competitors like HTC a chance to eclipse Cupertino’s lead in the U.S. smartphone market.
AppleInsider is reporting that Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC is enjoying brisk sales of its Android-based handsets on all four U.S. carriers. While devices like the HTC Thunderbolt on Verizon Wireless and the Inspire 4G on AT&T have yet to match the selling power of Apple’s iPhone 4 on those carriers, they are among the best-selling Android devices in general.
Now that HTC has branched out to offer handsets through Sprint and T-Mobile, HTC is “set to challenge” Apple as the top U.S. smartphone maker, according to DigiTimes sources. Recent rumors claim that Apple is currently testing the iPhone 4 on both Sprint and T-Mobile, but in the meantime, hardware makers like HTC are using the absence of the device on those networks as a competitive advantage.
"With the absence of a next-generation iPhone, and the fact that rival Motorola has been forced to postpone the launch of its 4G models, HTC has a chance to further narrow the gap in market share against Apple before the third quarter," DigiTimes sources said.
Of course, this assumes that Apple won’t introduce Sprint and/or T-Mobile as new carriers when the next iPhone is released this fall, which could put Cupertino and HTC on more even footing. In the meantime, Apple is holding its own against Android with a single handset versus hundreds of models from various manufacturers -- but the threat is clearly growing.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of AppleInsider)