Huawei - the planet’s third biggest shifter of smartphones - has abandoned plans to build more devices based on Windows due to slower than expected sales.
This is a blow to Microsoft and its much-maligned Windows 8 operating system, which now has to rely on Nokia and other lower-ranked mobe makers to trade its wares. Huawei confirmed four devices in its portfolio run on the software.
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“We used to invest in Windows for several products but they didn’t have good sales. [It was] hard to sell, and recently our Windows investment was suspended,” said Huawei's veep of consumer business group marketing, Shao Yang. “For us, Android is the best choice.”
“The biggest problem is that Windows is not easy to develop independently on this platform. A lot of things are defined by Windows; they [Microsoft] leave [a] very small space for vendors to develop,” he told El Reg.
In contrast, Google’s Android gives the development community “more potential to develop”, the veep added. He said a Huawei-developed OS is not part of its future plans.
This has effectively killed off Huawei's move to create a dual boot smartphone, which it claimed was on the cards back in the spring. “That has not happened,” Yang told us. “R&D costs for Windows are quite high relative to the cost of sales.”
Huawei sits behind Apple and Samsung in the market share stakes, with research from the beancounters at IDC claiming the Chinese giant had a 6.9 per cent share of global sales in Q2 this year.
Shao told us that he expects to sell up to 90 million smartphones in 2014, higher than the 80 million it forecast at the start of the year. The company only entered the market in 2010 and in that year it flogged three million of the devices.
A spokesman from Huawei's UK tentacle told The Register: "We have a strategic relationship with Google and will continue to participate on this platform and work closely with industry partners to bring the hardware and software innovation that best meets the needs of consumers and further develops the mobile ecosystem that users are after. There are no current plans to work on the Tizen platform. We are putting any releases of new Windows phones on hold."
More than half of Huawei’s sales are transacted outside of China but the company provided Microsoft with a route into the most populated country in the world, where it currently ranks as the fifth largest smartphone vendor.
Microsoft has told us it is preparing a statement. We will update this story if/when it arrives. ®