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Huawei: We’re still going to make devices running Windows Phone

Huawei W1

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.

Source: WSJ

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Reader comments

Huawei: We’re still going to make devices running Windows Phone

23 Comments

Nope, always good to have partners providing more options.
 
While I've become a total Nokia fanboi, I do like what Huawei has been putting out.

Not bad? This is great! China are second biggest market and Huawei are massive over there. Lastly W1 is much better phone than 520.

I think Samsung will stay in it, even if just to keep up on the latest features that Microsoft is rolling out with Windows Phone.

Nokia is no longer dependent or even tied to the success to Windows Phone, because sadly Nokia as a company is no longer a phone manufacturer.
 

Until the purchase is approved and Microsoft actually takes ownership (first quarter or half of 2014), Nokia is still very much a phone manufacturer and their business still depends on the success of Windows Phone.  An acquisition announcement does not mean everything just stops at the company being acquired - it's mostly still business as usual until things are approved and wrapped up.

If the buyout means an end to Nokia's exclusivity of features and apps, I imagine this makes other manufacturers' phones that much more attractive. You might be able to truly choose on hardware alone.

Agreed! This could be great for the other OEMs. One of the main reasons that I bought a Lumia over a HTC was the apps. I thought the 8X was a great phone, but I went with the 822 instead.

Now that Nokia is in Microsoft's kitty, why don't they just WP license free?
Currently all other OEMs are selling less than 2 million per quarter. Microsoft said the revenue for WP per device is $10.
So it will be $20 million per quarter which is a drop in the pond for Microsoft. If more companies bring phones with OS it will make WP more popular. They have Nokia to sell more devices and make profits anyway.
 
But they should keep the minimum hardware restrictions though.

+1020 I believe Huawei is the same company that complained about there being a licensing fee. Take away the fee and maybe they might push the platform further and make better devices.

Huawei , Please bring more windows phones espcially with the 4G with TDM option in india. I love to have 4G in india with windows and Huawei.. That is a good potential area for them out there - market in india ...like china . Since there are not may 4G supported windows phones in india right now. If you price it good or decent it will become a hit soon there.

They should see this as a good thing.  Nokia was lean and hungry.  A fierce competitor fighting for its life.  Now all that has changed really and they are being obsorbed by a slower moving bloated Fortune 50 company. 
If I was Huawei, Samsung, etc.  I'd be kind of relieved.   And I don't say that sarcastically.  I think I'm just being honest.   As a MS Silver partner with most of my revenue coming from this ecosystem, I am certainly a supporter, just forced to be realistic.

You could look at it another way...   the Nokia crew could light a fire under the Microsoft crew and the development and innovation could pickup the pace.

Its possible.  And there is the argument for synergy once the two groups are merged.  But history makes it a long shot that one large company is more innovative than two smaller ones.  
Having said that, I think its a good thing for the wp in general.  Microsoft can build phones now like they do with the Surface tablet.   Most likely innovation will slowly fade from the Nokia group over a couple few years, but this wll help ensure quality phones are available for the WP OS going forward. 
Most of us knew Nokia was not going to survive on their own much longer.  Many of us even were willing to say it out loud and face the ridicule.   Before this we were faced with the worry that Nokia was going to get bought by Huawei or some other fearful thought like that.   That won't happen now and thats all good.

Honestly, I don't think WP sucess is tied to getting the OS on a variety of manufacturers' phones. Apple dominated the market with OEM hardware only. Blackberry did the same. Android? While there are several players, Samsung owns the market and is synonomous with Android to all but the platform fanboys. The key is for Microkia to have several options on each carrier (a budget model, a premium large-screen model, and a phablet at least). If they can pull this off, nobody will care about the others and it may even work out better for them.