It’s hard to believe it was a little over a week ago that Microsoft announced plans to buy Nokia’s devices and services unit for a cool $7.2 billion. Such a move easily triggered fears that other OEMs might not look so favorably at the deal and their enthusiasm for Windows Phone would wane. Not that many OEMs put anywhere near as much effort as Nokia, but that’s for another day. Either way, don’t worry about Huawei who has gone on record stating their support for Windows Phone.
According to most estimates, Nokia owns around 80% of the Windows Phone marketshare compared to other OEMs. It’s not that other devices are bad, it’s just that Nokia’s future at one point depended on the success of Windows Phone. Now their future is tied to Microsoft. But the deal still put many tech pundits worried about the future vitality of third party OEMs producing Windows Phone devices after the deal between Microsoft and Nokia. Here’s what Richard Ren, a Huawei executive running their European unit said to reporters in Stockholm:
"We will continue to develop devices running Windows Phone, and launch more products. We remain one of Microsoft's strategic partners."
Huawei may not be a brand you really pay attention to, but they have considerable clout in their homeland China. And with the Chinese smartphone market exploding, attractive devices running Windows Phone from Huawei could be a boon for Microsoft.
We had our first hands on with Huawei’s Ascend W1 at CES earlier this year. It isn’t a bad device at all when you consider the target audience. And their recent Ascend W2 also looks like an attractive device that could do very well in the Chinese market.