While there had been hiccups about Huawei launching dual booth phone, one running Android while other is Windows Phone, it seems Huawei is not confident about Windows Phone OS because of one primary reason—the closed system—where except Microsoft nobody else has the access to all the features which can allow a phone maker to customize and make a Windows Phone to stand out.
I took interview of Mr. Shao Yang, CMO of Huawei Consumer BG at MWC 2014 where even though he talked about the dual boot phone, he wasn’t sure of launching a new Windows Phone because of several reasons. I have a recording of the interview with me and below are some key points he mentioned when asked on Huawei plans for Windows Phone.
Q: Do you have a concrete plan for new handset of Windows Phone or are you still watching the market ?
A: In Windows Phone there is one problem that it has more licensing cost than Android. That increases the price of the phone by 10%. So that’s one block point of Windows. The second block is the ecosystem. The third and major block point is that Windows Phone is not so open as Android which blocks a vendor to make their own innovation. The result of the last block is that all Windows Phone looks too similar and it is hard to differentiate different brands from each other.
Q: Now that Nokia is soon going to be part of Microsoft, will you be trying to get in touch with Microsoft to get access to API et all so you can customize your Windows Phone handset and make it stand out.
A : When Microsoft and Nokia combine together, it will be even harder to open the API. That will not make the competition fair.
Q: Why do you say its not fair ? Are you worried that Microsoft will come with their own hardware ?
A: The problem is the API and customization are not available equally for all. Initially all phone makers started with Windows Phone but only Nokia had exclusive access to some of the API. Now with Nokia gone into Microsoft, the problem still remains the same.
So for example, Google bought Motorola but since Android is open to all, nobody had a problem with Google producing their own hardware as the opportunity to come with more customized phone remains open to all.
That said, it”s not a big surprise when Huawei backtracked on dual boot OS and I wont be surprised if they completely stop making Windows Phone down the lane because of the limited access to the OS. Android is doing well for them even though as per Mr. Shao Yang, they managed to sell some 100K of both the versions of their Windows Phone handsets.