HTC has confirmed it is not currently planning to distribute its Windows Phone 8S handset in US markets. In a statement to Engadget, the firm says its focus is on the Windows Phone 8X at AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. "The Windows Phone 8S is not currently planned for distribution in the U.S. market," says a spokesperson. However, The Verge has learned that it hasn't always been this way.

"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."

According to sources close to Microsoft's Windows Phone efforts, the Windows Phone 8S was originally planned as a T-Mobile budget handset. We understand that Microsoft prioritized testing of the Qualcomm 8960 chipset found in the 8X, Lumia 920, and Lumia 820 handsets, over testing the Qualcomm 8227 chipset available in the 8S. As a result, testing on US carriers has pushed retail availability back, and HTC's statement makes it clear there's no immediate plans to stock the handset in US markets. The 8S may still become available in US markets at a later stage, but given how fast the mobile industry moves we'll likely never see it officially carrier supported.