Rumor: Chinese OEMs will be very cautious with Windows Phone 8 in 2013

Just ahead of Nokia's new device revaluation in London, which is supposed to spearhead a whole new wave of new Lumia phones and an exciting new year for the manufacturer, there comes rumor that Chinese Windows Phone OEMs will play their cards cautious for 2013.

Citing insider sources, Chinese tech site WPDang claims that Huawei will churn out one single new Windows Phone for the new year: the Ascend W2, which reportedly sports a 5" screen. Not much to look up to, just this one shot.

Rum: 5

ZTE, the other Chinese OEM partner of Microsoft's, will temporarily stay away from Windows Phone, or so WPDang is told. The company has so far released two Windows Phones: V965W, and the Orbit. Neither of them made a big splash. To make things worse, ZTE's firepower is mostly in the low range tier, and that's exactly where the brand is being cornered by Huawei's W1, HTC's 8S, and a whole legion of Lumia boys. On the other hand, ZTE just signed patent deals with Microsoft over products running Android and Chrome OS. That quite likely indicates where the company's 2013 focus is.

Lenovo has been sitting on the bench for quite a while. There were leaked pictures of Lenovo's LePhone being loaded with Windows Phone 7.5 before, and back in March, the president of Lenovo China sent an update to social network Sina Weibo via a Windows Phone. But nope, whatever that secret phone is, it's still under development, and probably won't be released this year.

With Samsung sort of just pretending to play along with Microsoft, and HTC being slowly edged out of the ring, 2013 looks like Nokia's one man show. The Finnish manufacturer has arguably the best software as well as hardware in the entire ecosystem, and more Lumia phones is a good thing to consumers. But shouldn't more options make things even better? How do you feel about Nokia's world dominion which is coming into shape?

Personally I'm seeing a smartphone industry with "Tri-force": Apple, Samsung and Nokia, each wielding absolute power in its own pocket universe (of various size, of course), while everyone else is either withering or surviving in its niche sector. While 2013 is nearing the half-way point it could go either way and this outlook doesn't really give a sense of desperation, but certainly makes the future look boring.

Source: WPDang

  • Starting to look like Nokia is going to be the only manufacturer of WP...
  • And it's not necessarily a bad thing. It means that even if Windows Phone doesn't quickly increase its marketshare it can be profitable for Nokia.
    Samsung is the only player of note on Android as well. The others are just struggling to get by without anything to differentiate themselves from Samsung. We've seen HTC (and even LG) try but so far without any noteworthy succes. Nothing that suggests things will change on the longterm.
    Nokia at least has a shot at regaining marketshare. If Windows Phone's tiles become 'their thing' then consumers have something recognizable. Word of mouth can make Nokia and Windows Phone very competitive on the longterm.
  • Unless Microsoft wants to essentially acquire Nokia, having them as the sole hardware vendor is a BAD idea. If Microsoft ends up solely relying on Nokia, that's dangerous - they won't see eye to eye on every decision and Nokia may hold too much bargaining power. As always, competition is good.
  • As Windows Phone gains more marketshare I do hope other OEMs will show some serious interest. But for now there is so little marketshare that it can only be profitable for one player. I think it's more a concern for Google. If Samsung finds a way to bring all Android apps to their own OS then they can cut Google's marketshare in half.
  • Unfortunately yes. HTC 8x is such an underrated device only Gwen Stefani uses it in celebrity world!
  • Definitely seems that way, but as long as they produle top of the line hardware and software combined with good customer support, I don't really care that Nokia is the only WP OEM; even though its always better to have a bit of competition.
  • I already said it last year: There will only be three major phone OEMs; Apple for iOS; Samsung for Android; Nokia for Windows Phone. So I agree with the conclusion of the article.
  • Yea, if Nokia becomes the "only" one, I'll be ok with it. They do it best anyway.
  • Agree, Nokia is dominating the WP arena already today. I'm quite confident that they are capable to do it their own with Microsoft. Wonder if MS is considering buying Nokia...?
  • Bring it on, Nokia all the way! It's thanks to Nokia that even my Surface Pro experience has become a bit cooler (with Nokia Music) is the kind of company I want to back, it has soul. All these others, e.g. Samsung or HTC, they lack culture and life, they're just pushing out devices as though it's still 2003. IMO Nokia deserves to win.
  • This.
  • Hala Nokia best thing ever happened on technology, all hail Nokia, I love Nokia, Nokia is our past our today and our future, wuuhuu
  • If Nokia is the only WP left when the dust settles then they must get better partnerships with US Carriers so they can offer at least 3 devices per carrier (low, mid and high-end).  Otherwise, people will not see the choices the desire.  If they want a lack of choice then they will go with iOS.
    Otherwise, I am fine with Nokia taking over the WP world!
  • Apple only offers a single choice (for now), whereas Nokia targets multiple price-points and markets with distinct product offerings. Yes, there are common treads (e.g. the Lumia design language and OS), but each phone is different - boasting different strengths. I think Nokia needs to step up their focus in Europe and the emerging markets, and expend their marketing money there as the U.S has shown to be a heavily saturated market - for high-end phones anyways. In fact, it might not be a bad idea for Microsoft to push Windows Phone hardware itself in North America (and other markets where Nokia isn't picking up). They could come up with an agreement where it is Nokia that designs and manufactures, but it is Microsoft that pushes under its own brand.
  • Apple offers 3 devices. They just move their old hardware to lower price points. So, right now you have the 5, 4s, and 4 being sold.
  • But all of those are physically very similar if not the same.  This is where Nokia has to stand out in a positive way.  Android has hundreds fo choices but most are not worth looking at.  Nokia is telling a better product store of why low-range, mid-range and high-end phones all have a purpose in the market.  We need this brough to the US
  • I concur, I think M$ needs to bring its own brand if no other OEM besides Nokia wants to. The more the merrier and it would send a statement that WP is here to stay :-)
  • Actually, Nokia seems to be doing really well in the emerging markets, if the reports from places like India and Russia are any gauge. Getting better deals with US carriers will go a long way towards mindshare, given how the US has been one of the toughest nuts to crack for Nokia (and WP in general).
  • I would quite like more OEM support, but as Nokia makes the best windows phones and all the rest are crying like little bitches I say fuck em.
  • +1 so true
  • If Nokia becomes the only choice for Windows Phone devices, they need to have Stephen Elop and company get their heads out of the gutter and get all carriers (especially on the CDMA side) carrying their products.
  • As others have mentioned before, Nokia doesn't have the clout in the US to dictate terms. AT&T is getting the exclusives not because Nokia wants them to, but because the carriers hold so much sway there.
  • Chassit...hmm new writer?
  • Howdy. Not really new, but kind of have an aura of invisibility around me...
  • Like the invisibility cloak from Harry Potter? :P
  • Better, doesn't take any equipment slot. ;)
  • Lol only a gamer would understand that joke ;)
  • I have absolutely nothing against Nokia's dominion. I'd rather have them than Samsung with their crappy cheap phones.
    And also, I actually want Nokia to dominate Windows Phone. Perhaps that way they can force Microsoft to stop being lazy and improve the OS way way faster than the current slow slow slow pace.
  • Unless you know exactly what's going to be included with the next update, then please refrain from calling Microsoft "lazy". You have no idea what goes on in the business side of things, so you are in no position to make disrespectful comments like that.
  • Agreed
  • Are you being serious, Robert?
    I personally don't find the comment 'disrespectful' at all.
  • Microsoft has been around for some time so they are doing something right. They are actually in a better position than Nokia is financially.
  • Il agree that Nokia's hardware and software is top notch but they should not be the sole player of Windows Phone. They are the only manufacturer that went basically all bets in on Windows Phone. Competition is key and hopefully the likes of HTC, Samsung, and hopefully others join. I would like to see another manufacturer on Windows Phone give Nokia a run for their money...
  • I agree 100%. Competition is key. Also, WPcentral is becoming dangerously close to LumiaCentral. Now, hear me out. When Nokia comes out with a device that doesn't do well (800/900) then the site complains that consumers didn't give it a chance although it was a great device (which I agree with). But when Samsung puts out the Vita, their is little to no support and backhanded comments like this article. You are seriously doing Windows Phone a dis-service. I own 2 920's, a Ativ, and the 8s ( well I say I but I include my wife because she would have an iPhone if it wasn't for me). Samsung more than holds it own. It is a beautiful screen, and extremely light yet gorgeous. It is a fantastic device. Why a Windows phone site would trash it so much as you guys do beyond me. Samsung is selling more phones than any other company in the world right now. And there are consumers who love Samsung very much and Android very little. But when they look at options, they have Windows Phone, and then they look at the defacto numero uno site for Windows Phone, and all they see you praising Nokia, trashing Samsung. So, they stay with Android. Having Windows Phone symnominsis with Nokia is not a good thing; why Windows Central is so hell bent on making that a reality boggles my mind.
  • There have been several articles and mentions of the ATIV S and what a good phone it is, but if Samsung releases 1 phone with minimal support and Nokia releases 7 phones and lots of support, it is only natural that Nokia will get more attention from the WP sites, WPCentral included
  • I agree,
    Samsung makes good phones.  If they didn't then they wouldn't be dominating the Android space.  Sure, they may be seen as "plastic'y" by some, but that keeps them thin and light.  Having choice is good.  Samsung's WP8 offering is the only high-end phone with removable storage and battery.  And the HTC 8X feels amazing in your hand...
    Competition = choice.  But I think what's happening in mobile is the power of branding.  Consumers seem to be gravitating towards brand consolidation.  Apple = iPhone.  Samsung Galaxy = Android.  Nokia = WP.
    There is an interesting article over at cNET. "Microsoft responds to 'extreme' Windows 8 criticism".  It talks about how the media, and now many of us bloggers/commentors have drifted to the extreme, using sensationalism to stand out.  This creates alot of venom like SamDung this, iCrapple that, Micro$oft blah blah.  It's all a bit infantile... and distructive more then anything.  These companies put alot of effort and engineering talent into making these products.  Spewing sensationalist mob journalism gets us nowhere.
    I'm a proud owner of a cyan Lumia 920.  But I'd love to see more WP devices from Samsung, HTC, and who ever else can bring their A-Game.
  • I have to agree 100% with what you said. The sensationalism is a bit out of hand. One of my buddies was like "Oh its a Windows Phone, is it going to get the blue screen of death?" while everyone else I shows it to liked it. I wanted to insult his android phone but that would make me no better than him...
  • Yeah I'm Nokia all the way as well so I don't mind WP8 being only their hardware. But they definitely need to strategize how to attack the US market.
  • Personally I like choices...even if I decide to go with the dominant manufacturer, I at least want to know that I went with the best. In other words, give me something to compare it to.
  • Choices.... Agree
  • I'm surprised ZTE aren't more notable... I went to Russia last year and they were heavily promoting ZTE WP7's everywhere. Lumia had only just come out, but the ZTE's had been selling like hot borsch :P
  • Weird ZTE's spending so much effort on Russia. China is ZTE's home field and I'm hardly seeing a fart from them here in Beijing... Huawei's doing better.
  • Perhaps it was all the carriers promoting it? iPhones were practically non-existant, so it was only a race between Android and Windows Phone. In my biased opinion, the Windows Phones were far superior :)
  • Why is this question being asked again? Its up to the other WP OEM's if they want to compete, if they dont then they really cant complain. And Nokia is not sitting around on one hardware release per year, looks like we will get 2 more with the 928 and whatever is revealed tomorrow which gives WP another boost, exposure and hopefully more sales.
    Its simple, if no one else wants to put any effort into WP and are content to sit with android I say let them go. Nokia is innovating, hitting all price points, advertising, getting exclusive apps, and are basically more WP than any OEM and Microsoft themselves. And Nokia is not going to sit back and relax if they become technically the only WP OEM, they know they are competing with apple and android as well so they will keep on innovating.
    So let the B players go, Nokia is bringing their A game and are doing great with WP and frankly are already doing it all by themselves, so nothing will really change.
  • ^This.
  • Do you think the extravagant amount of money Nokia gets from wp is helping cover some of the losses they have sustained over the years? And that maybe all the other vendors who are paying full price for the licensing software and not getting financial backing has something to do with it? We can't forget that when it comes to pure selling power android is easier to sell and that covers some of their losses from wp sales (or lack there of) if Nokia was not getting the deal they got I promise they would not be a Microsoft only vendor.
  • +1000
  • +100
  • Intel Atom Phones will get PC  providers like Lenovo on board.
  • I would be fine with Nokia being the only manufacturer of WP devices, if they didn't have this fragemented bunch of semi-flagships being released in stages 9 months apart from each other.  What we have now, as a practical matter, is ATT exclusive rights to the entire platform's state of the art for 9 months, with everyone else getting year old tech in an off cycle release.  That sucks.
    If this is going to be a Nokia only platform, they need to push hardware to every carrier all at once. 
  • Good. Huawei and ZTE won't sell in America, not Congress & the trade commission advising against consumers buying them and not with them refuses disclose info... Like there relation with the Chinese govt amongst privacy concerns.
  • I say trim the fat. No use wasting time with half assed OEMs farting around with MS. Samsung has its own agenda that is android and I think their own os. HTC is lost in the ocean of mobile phone confusion. They just can't seem to get a foot hold on Samsung and with windows phone, they just throw some shit on the wall to see if it sticks. All the other OEMs are just the grey area filling the gaps of low range phones. Apple,Samsung,Nokia are the big three. If Nokia was the only WP maker, I would be very happy.
  • Htc tried hard with the last batch but it didn't matter to anyone because they sank immediately after launching those wp8 products. Nokia is all that matters to anyone because they get special treatment from MS so they can throw everything at the wall knowing Microsoft will have their back. No other OEM has that.
  • If you're saying HTC "just threw some shit on the wall" for Windows Phone 8 you're just plain stupid. The 8X is a great device, sleek, unique and gorgeous and feels amazing to hold. It may not be your personal choice but its a GREAT choice. So is the 8S and their previous WP7 devices were no slouches either. Get your head out of Nokia's ass so that way you can see the shit that you just posted...
  • Agreed. The 8x is a solid phone. My wife has it and I have the Lumia 920. I still prefer my 920, but sometimes when I hold her phone, I get a little jealous.
    --Tri-force ???
    <IMHO> I think you left out Blackberry, who is "coming back" headstrong </IMHO>
  • Blackberry is dead in the water, but watch out for LG. They already sell more smartphones than Nokia (10.3 million vs 5.6 for Nokia in Q1 2013).
  • Blackberry is not dead. It has 70+ million users world wide, large cash reserves, and no debt. There new OS is highly thought of and sales have been good. They are still very much in the race.
  • Nokia should be the only and the one and only WP manufacturer.. Its about time
  • While I think competition is key, and would like to see continued releases from other manufacturers for windows phone, I don't think if Nokia is the sole WP player in the future is such a bad thing.  Even if there is no other WP competitors, Nokia is still battling hard against iOS and Android.  It's not like being a WP monopoly would slow down Nokia's drive to innovate and release killer devices.  I think Nokia has ALWAYS been MUCH more concerned about Android and iOS than the 8X or ATIV line.  
  • Nokia prefers more players to join WP to help out the ecosystem. One OEM is not good for gaining marketshare.
  • I'd like to see more players, more is better!!!
    What about Sony?  They have really good designs, not only phones but tablets as well, would love to see a Sony WP8 and a W8 tablet!!!!
  • That would be amazing!! Microsoft should talk to them about joining the WP force...
  • Sony might not want to get in the WP game because of their Playstation brand being incompatible with XBOX Live.
  • I prefer my 8x to most Nokia devices simply because the loom and feel aspect. Don't understand why Nokia phones have to be so thick and bulky. That's my only real complaint with them but its a real breaker for me currently.
  • Lets look at the smartphone market, there are four competeing OS's. Android, Blackberry, iOS, and Windows Phone 8. Apple and Blackberry both are the sole manufacturer of their respective OS's. Android is dominated by Samsung with HTC, Motorola, and LG trying to carve out a piece of the Android pie. For Windows Phone, there are five offical partners, Nokia who has a special deal/relationship with Microsoft, HTC who also has sold Windows OS phones for a long time, Huawei and ZTE which are not major players worldwide and Samsung who I think keeps their feet in the Windows Phone market as a hedge against problems with Android, and it is another revenue stream.
    Should Nokia have WP all to themselves, they made the committment to be 100% WP, no Android. No, as others have said competition is good and it forces inovation from all players. I have yet to upgrade to WP8, but when I do it is a tie between Nokia and Samaung with Nokia having a nice edge. I think that the other players need to step up there game and stop treating WP as an after thought or a place to recycle last year top Android hardware. Nokia is doing it right, great hardware, good exclusive apps and servcies (some that they brought over from there Symbian days) and real inovation in their hardware. Why do Samsung and HTC wait a year or so to give WP top hardware? I know that WP does not support quadcore processors, 1080p, and other cutting edge hardware (come on MS, get with it) but Samsung and HTC seem to treat WP as an afterthought. Nokia it is there only thought. So, should Nokia have WP all to themselves, no but they should have the lion share of the WP market because they earn it.
  • That's definitely good for Nokia, not so sure for MS.
  • Chinese manufacturers are not going to adopt windows phone a wide range of devices until Windows Phone gains more momentum in China.
  • Personally I'd like to see other manufacturers in the WP enviro, but having said that Nokia makes high quality devices, so if it is a one brand show, I'm really glad it's Nokia.
    I'd like to see a similar HTC One styling come out from HTC for WP. It's a very nicely styled device and I would imagine it give HTC a leg up in competition to Nokia. As with Samsung, there is enough room for a number of manufacturers to get a good slice of WP. Samsung's Focus was a very cool phone.
    Thing is 'committment' to the brand. Nokia is the benchmark on committment, with exceptional after sales service and support, and quality exclusive apps. How many exl apps did HTC or Samsung bring to the party.. you can count on one hand.
    Nokia, you're doing a great job. You have the lowend and midrange stitched up. If you drop another highend phone, (EOS, 925, +) we're with you all the way.
  • Simple question, why the hell didn't Samsung use its massive clout to bring Flipboard to WP as it did for Android? This is the kind of garbage that will make me ignore Samsung and HTCs' WP offerings.
  • So basically what is being said and if things keep going that way, then we might see this;
    Apple = iOS
    Samsung = Android
    Nokia = Windows Phone
    And everyone else fades into the background until they fade away into oblivion.