Earlier this week, we reported that Acer is planning to launch a new Windows Phone next year as the company hedges its bets in the face of stiff competition from smartphone rivals such as Samsung, which dominates the Android ecosystem. Acer previously launched a Windows Phone 7 handset alongside the 'Mango' OS update back in late 2011, but its focus since then has been on Android devices.
Speaking with TechRadar this week, Acer vice president of smartphones for the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Allen Burnes, confirmed that the company is indeed still interested in Microsoft's mobile OS, but that now isn't the right time.
"We are looking at Windows Phone 8, we think it's a great OS," he explained. "The integration with Xbox is nice, the enterprise suite is nice, but I think no-one knows about it." Windows Phone's tiny share of the smartphone market certainly speaks to the modest consumer interest to which Burnes alludes, although that share is growing; recent figures from IDC show that Windows Phone is now the third largest smartphone platform by handset shipments, with 3.2% of the market, overtaking BlackBerry which slipped to just 2.9% share.
Despite that success, there's no ignoring the fact that Windows Phone's sales are still tiny. But Burnes is hoping for bigger and better things: "You'll find everyone in our smartphone team would really like to deploy Windows OS, but in relation to where we are as a company, we have to make our decisions in relation to what we think will sell out," he said. "We've made the decision not to launch a Windows Phone 8 device this year. Next year, depending on how we see the growth go this year, we may well do."
As we previously reported, Acer also sees advantages in the cross-platform integration between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, as Burnes explained: "The way WP8 integrates in with the rest of the Windows ecosystem is phenomenal. So yes, we are looking at Windows Phone 8; yes, we do believe in it; it just doesn't sell enough at this moment, otherwise we would deploy it this year."
Given that Acer's position is that Windows Phone is suffering from a lack of awareness among buyers, it's perhaps not surprising that Burnes criticised Microsoft on that front: "What [Microsoft] has to do is communicate. They can't rely on Nokia, which has its own challenges of rebuilding its brand, to do it for them."
Microsoft seems to be learning that lesson, albeit slowly. Yesterday, it released a new commercial, 'Windows Everywhere', showcasing the integration of its devices and services across Windows desktops, tablets and, yes, Windows Phones.
Source: TechRadar | Image edited from an original via Acer