Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it had signed up nine new hardware partners to Windows Phone 8. Among various companies new to the platform, two manufacturers that had previously launched Windows Phone 7 devices are returning: LG and ZTE.
However, one brand to have offered Windows Phones before, but which is not returning to the OS, is Acer. The company previously launched a single Windows Phone, the W4, back in 2011, but subsequently turned its back on the platform, choosing instead to focus on its range of Android devices - and it has no plans to reverse its decision any time soon.
Speaking with The Inquirer, Allen Burnes (vice president for Acer's smartphone division in Europe, the Middle East and Asia) said that, while things have improved for Windows Phone, they have not improved enough. Two factors remain of concern to Acer - apps and market share - and as far as the company is concerned, Microsoft still has a lot of work to do.
On the subject of apps, Burnes said: "The Windows Phone Store is improving. But if there are 350,000 apps and it doesn't include the top 100, then it's no good for consumers. For example, if you don't have the local banking apps, then it is of naught to certain people." He added: "There are a whole bunch of elements around the application space which need fixing, which for us, is a big deal."
The second area that Acer thinks needs addressing is the relatively low market demand for Windows Phones. Burnes said: "Consumer call is one of the reasons why we have no Windows Phone plans at present. While Windows Phone indexes at around seven percent in Europe, that's not enough for us to take the risk."
He added: "The fact is, until people start talking about the great experience you can have on Windows Phone, we can't go in on it."
The platform has seen significant gains in some regions, including parts of Europe where market share has breezed past ten percent. But in many other regions, Windows Phone's share of the market remains minute. Its global market share last year was around 3-4%, depending on who you ask.
But Acer has far higher expectations, and will not consider launching further Windows Phone handsets until the platform's share of the market improves considerably, with at least double-digit consumer demand for the devices. Burnes said: "We are having conversations with Microsoft, and if they index Windows Phone to 10 to 15 percent, we are interested."
Back in June 2013, Burnes said that Acer was "looking at Windows Phone 8, it's a great OS. The Xbox integration is nice, the enterprise suite is nice - but I think no-one knows about it." He also said: "We do believe in [Windows Phone 8]; it just doesn't sell enough at this moment, otherwise we would deploy it this year."
Source: The Inquirer