Huawei exec: Windows Phone isn't open enough and costs too much

A few weeks ago, Microsoft announced that it had signed up nine new hardware partners to join Windows Phone, including Lenovo and LG. But as new manufacturers begin to support the platform, not everyone is happy with how things have gone with Windows Phone so far. 

Huawei was one of the four launch partners - alongside Samsung, HTC and Nokia - for the rebooted Windows Phone 8 which débuted in 2012. But as Nokia has come to dominate the platform, with over 90% share of WP sales, Huawei remains an infinitesimal fish in Windows Phone’s tiny pond.  

Having released just two lower-end Windows Phones in the last eighteen months, Huawei’s commitment to the platform hasn’t exactly been wholehearted – and that seems unlikely to change, for now. Last month, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, wpxbox.com spoke with Shao Yang, chief marketing officer at Huawei Device, in an interview that has only been published in the last few days.

The site shared highlights of the interview focusing specifically on the company's Windows Phone plans, and it seems that Huawei is not the platform's biggest fan. When asked if the company plans to release a new handset, or if it is still ‘watching the market’, the executive seemed almost to ignore the question, instead listing three problems with Microsoft’s mobile OS:

In Windows Phone, there is one problem: that it has more licensing costs 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 [from making] their own innovations. The result of the last block is that all Windows Phones look too similar, and it is hard to differentiate different brands from each other.”

When it comes to cost, at least, there may be some relief for Huawei's purse. Microsoft has reportedly waived the OS licensing fees for two Indian OEMs, fueling speculation that the company plans to drop these charges entirely with Windows Phone 8.1. Microsoft recently confirmed that it is reducing licensing costs for low-cost Windows tablets, which appears to support the notion that Windows Phone licensing may be dramatically reduced in price, or removed completely. 

Shao complained too that Nokia has had an unfair advantage so far, giving rise to a situation that will only continue when Microsoft’s purchase of the company’s device business goes through:

When Microsoft and Nokia combine, it will be even harder to open the API[s]. That will not make the competition fair… The problem is the API[s] 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[s]. Now, with Nokia gone into Microsoft, the problem still remains the same.”

It sounds like Huawei has little love for Windows Phone, especially compared with its much greater focus on Android handsets. But one interesting titbit from the interview  puts the company’s sentiments into some context: according to Shao, Huawei has sold only around 100,000 of each of its two Windows Phones. 

Source: wpxbox.com via WMPU | image via Huawei

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just let it go, its been what three four years now and WP still hasn't made even a tiny dent in market share and more importantly into the awareness of consumers. nobody knows what windows phone is and those that do do not care

Sonne said,
just let it go, its been what three four years now and WP still hasn't made even a tiny dent in market share and more importantly into the awareness of consumers. nobody knows what windows phone is and those that do do not care

It has made a way bigger dent than desktop Linux has in 20 years...

Do you also advocate for the end of all desktop distros of Linux?

rfirth said,

It has made a way bigger dent than desktop Linux has in 20 years...

Do you also advocate for the end of all desktop distros of Linux?

How is any statistic about Linux on the desktop relevent in a discussion about Windows Phone marketshare? Can you please explain? I am happy to see and understand your point but I don't see it yet. You may as well reference Ford V's KIA marketshare.

derekaw said,

How is any statistic about Linux on the desktop relevent in a discussion about Windows Phone marketshare?

Surely you're not that dense that you can't figure out the point that's being made, without it being explained to you.

Ideas Man said,

Surely you're not that dense that you can't figure out the point that's being made, without it being explained to you.

I can think of a few possibilities, none of them make sense. Can the original comment poster please explain what they meant? @firth?

derekaw said,

I can think of a few possibilities, none of them make sense. Can the original comment poster please explain what they meant? @firth?

1. Competition is good.
2. There is room for more than 2 players... (Windows+OS X+Linux, and Windows+iOS+Android)
3. Even a small marketshare can be sustainable for a long time (Linux has 1/3 the marketshare and has lasted 20 years)
4. Even a small marketshare can be profitable (OS X, Red Hat?)
5. A small slice of a huge market is still tens of millions of devices sold... nothing to sneeze at.

I'm arguing that both desktop Linux and Windows Phone have a niche and a place in the market, and that their is no point in stopping development of either... and pointing out the faulty logic of the OP who has a penguin as their avatar and is probably partial to Linux that their faulty argument against Windows Phone could be equally applied to desktop Linux... which they would probably argue against if applied to Linux.

Windows Phone is basically doomed, it always was.
Of course its doing OK-ish if you want a dirt cheap low end handset.

About 3% Worldwide will be as good as it gets and it can only get worse once Microsoft gets their hands on Nokia.

derekaw said,
Windows Phone is basically doomed, it always was.
Of course its doing OK-ish if you want a dirt cheap low end handset.

About 3% Worldwide will be as good as it gets and it can only get worse once Microsoft gets their hands on Nokia.

Nonsense. Windows Phone is still the fastest growing smartphone platform and has surpassed 10% in many markets.

TCLN Ryster said,

Nonsense. Windows Phone is still the fastest growing smartphone platform and has surpassed 10% in many markets.

Overall, worldwide its about 3%
Where it is above that the marketshare is for mostly low end dirt cheap 52X phones.

TechJunkie81 said,
3 percent is like triple the linux desktop market share.

How is Linux desktop marketshare relevant here please?

i just got a brand new Samsung tablet with what feels like a custom android on top of it. i gotta say, its a piece of ... antiquated equipment, that freezes and crashes at least once per hour.. if that is the kind of experience that happens when something as "open" as android is taken by these chinese firms, then i rather not have said companies meddling inside windows phone.

yeah sure you did

you didn't even bother to try out a tablet before you bought it? i would say that is your fault, there is a thing called the internet too eh with reviews and stuff....also samsung isn't the only tablet maker in town with Android you get literally hundreds of different tablets to choose from

Sonne said,
yeah sure you did

you didn't even bother to try out a tablet before you bought it? i would say that is your fault, there is a thing called the internet too eh with reviews and stuff....also samsung isn't the only tablet maker in town with Android you get literally hundreds of different tablets to choose from

It was a gift

I'd rather not have Windows Phone associated with Huawei ... it's a low-end Chinese brand. Let them do their Android crap and leave Windows Phone to the stylish (and European) Nokia! :)

Enron said,

As far as I know, most of the Nokia employees are staying in Europe?

Of course, it would be silly to relocate.

Kittyburgers said,
I'd rather not have Windows Phone associated with Huawei ... it's a low-end Chinese brand. Let them do their Android crap and leave Windows Phone to the stylish (and European) Nokia! :)

Nokia, Made in Finla.... Germa..... well, just made China.

WP8.1 will brings thousands of new APIs that will allow them to be more flexible (and even install WP on Android handsets), making their manufacturing costs drastically lower.

But at the same time, it's a GOOD thing the WP 'isn't open enough' because then we'd have OEMs changing the crap out of the system as you see on Android. That's the beauty of WP, regardless of what phone you use, you get a truly similar experience.

For me WP is so, great. open the box, turn on the phone do a 5-10 min config and you are done, you can start backup or downloading apps.... even months later the phone will work flawlessly and secure.
With others I've tried like Symbian, Android is just a mess, you even have to worry about modifying for the bloatware, find better and faster ROM's, that consumes time!
TIME IS PRECIUSE!

I recently upgraded from my old Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) HTC phone to a new HTC One with Android 4.4.2 (KitKat). Literally in less than 5 minutes, all of my contacts, bookmarks, and favorite apps from the Play Store had been migrated from the old phone to the new one. Even my wallpaper I had been using on the old phone migrated over. Hardly the "mess" you claim. Even when I tried other ROMs on the old phone, as soon as I logged into Google, all my contacts, bookmarks and apps were migrated. Maybe you need to update your experiences.

Customization is good to a point, but as I note above, Microsoft already has been through giving over too much control of the software side to OEMs in the Windows 3.x/Win9x/WinXP era.

They eventually had to stop this through licensing restrictions, and it has for the most part worked, although we still see some bloatware on PCs.

There is a reason Windows 7 and Windows 8 are the most secure and stable versions ever, and part of it is restricting low level changes by OEMs.

Laptop and desktop hardware manufacturers have been innovating with hardware and software for a very long time now, yet the OS has been kept the same across many of them. Why would it be hard for mobile device manufacturers to do the same?

I'm glad as a consumer that it's a bit more closed. Less crap these companies can put on the phone and anything they do, can be removed by the user. But MS should make available all API's that Nokia can use. Everyone should be on a level playing field.

I have to agree. MSFT is too restrictive. I get they want to ensure people can upgrade but clearly, limiting OEMs to do the type of customizations they want should be something they should bake into the OS shell native capabilities itself just like with windows today.

clearly a software company like MSFT can figure it out. WP's seems to have been designed too intertwined if they can't allow parts to be extended by OEMs. case in point keyboards: WP doesn't support them in the same way android does because MSFT doesn't expose it in ways devs can target it.

we've seen nokia do some customization so huawei is pissing out of the bucket slightly. But they are using android as a reference which means MSFT needs to realize they can't have basically iPhone level of control if they want to compete.

neonspark said,

we've seen nokia do some customization so huawei is pissing out of the bucket slightly. But they are using android as a reference which means MSFT needs to realize they can't have basically iPhone level of control if they want to compete.

Nokia have access to API's that no one else does, which is why they're able to do their customizations in the first place. By not opening those to all OEM's, MS restrict their capability to differentiate and thus you get a homogenized market where no one (except Nokia) is able to stand out.

That there is highly anti-competition, so why should the other OEM's bother?

Microsoft need to level the playing field and give all OEM's access to the same API's.

FloatingFatMan said,

Nokia have access to API's that no one else does, which is why they're able to do their customizations in the first place. By not opening those to all OEM's, MS restrict their capability to differentiate and thus you get a homogenized market where no one (except Nokia) is able to stand out.

That there is highly anti-competition, so why should the other OEM's bother?

Microsoft need to level the playing field and give all OEM's access to the same API's.

I thought they already did so long as all changes went via Microsoft to ensure platform stability?

"...which blocks a vendor [from making] their own innovations"

Thank God Microsoft holds its own for this.
We've all seen what OEM innovations can yield.

Nokia customized its windows phone by software/app innovations. Huawei can do the same, rather than relying on changing up the GUI to differentiate from other windows phones

kidjenius said,
Nokia customized its windows phone by software/app innovations. Huawei can do the same, rather than relying on changing up the GUI to differentiate from other windows phones
If you read the article you'd know that Microsoft gave Nokia exclusive access to APIs and the design of APIs, which other companies like Huawei don't have. Huawei is right, their phone will look and operate just like the HTC or the Samsung because that is what Microsoft/Nokia want. There is no incentive for a company like Huawei to use WP. Why put all that time/effort into a product that isn't going to sell?

they just said these "innovations" come from an API that is increasingly anti-OEM unless your name is nokia. it isn't just about your wallpaper.

fuzi0719 said,
If you read the article you'd know that Microsoft gave Nokia exclusive access to APIs and the design of APIs, which other companies like Huawei don't have. Huawei is right, their phone will look and operate just like the HTC or the Samsung because that is what Microsoft/Nokia want. There is no incentive for a company like Huawei to use WP. Why put all that time/effort into a product that isn't going to sell?

At first, Microsoft later extended the same API and customization exchange with other OEMs, as long as the OEMs were willing to let Microsoft approve and handle any of the sensitive software/drivers to keep the platform stable/secure.

Even things Nokia developed like their imaging SDK can now be accessed by other OEMs through Microsoft.

This person is making early WP8 era arguments that aren't the same today. Even the licensing cost has been essentially removed.

I do think Microsoft should make Windows Phone more open to allow developers to innovate. However consumers aren't looking for OEM 'innovation' especially not the 'out of the box' kind. I like how Windows Phone is very clean in that regard, and that you can uninstall any mess these OEMs preinstall on your device.

As a phone maker you dont need to differentiate the phone's software. Microsoft should allow further customization so the consumer can alter the look of the device. OEMs should focus on making hardware stand out.

The licensing cost I can understand. It's a vallid criticism. Microsoft should arrange a deal where OEMs dont start to pay for the licensing unless they sell over a 10 million units (or something of that effect).

The third and major block point is that Windows Phone is not so open as Android

Waaaaa, boo hoo. This is exactly why I bought my Windows Phone. Sorry, but I don't want a slimy OS, coupled with a poorly thought out UI.

Dot Matrix said,

Waaaaa, boo hoo. This is exactly why I bought my Windows Phone. Sorry, but I don't want a slimy OS, coupled with a poorly thought out UI.

what if MSFT let you, like it does on windows, revert it back to stock? have we forgotten it has been this way in the PC space forever? OEMs can "customize" by installing junkware you can just remove. The alternative is you never see another WP again from anybody but nokia.

Manufacturers can already install junkware on WP. The 'problem' is, the user doesn't need 3 days to remove their crap, but a single two-tap action per 'juappnk'.

neonspark said,

what if MSFT let you, like it does on windows, revert it back to stock? have we forgotten it has been this way in the PC space forever? OEMs can "customize" by installing junkware you can just remove. The alternative is you never see another WP again from anybody but nokia.

In theory it sounds good, but there are lines.

Microsoft also has experience with this over the years. Around the time Win95 appeared, OEMs stopped focusing on hardware and also wanted to add OS customizations to their products. This brought a generation of bloatware and crap. IBM was even selling PCs will dancing icons in explorer that would eat 30% of the CPU resources.

As things moved forward, Microsoft started locking Windows back down and restricting customization through licenses.

There should be a 'bit' more ability to customize WP, but if you look at WP8.1 along with the current changes in WP8, there is a lot of room for OEMs to add customized experiences.

OEMs can't be allowed to 'touch' things in the OS that make it work differently, like circumventing or replacing core OS Apps like the People Hub, etc.

This is where the fight currently exists, it isn't just about the 'launcher'.

The biggest problem is OEMs are trying to compete in the 'software/service' space instead of building better or unique hardware. They are NOT software companies and yet are trying to pretend they are. These companies do not have the software engineering qualifications to match Microsoft and they need to be held at arms length.

One thing about WP8 is that it is extremely fast, stable, and secure, and that is because of Microsoft, not because of hundreds of developers playing with the code.

Microsoft is a software company, and the OEMs should leave that development to Microsoft. If they want customization, they can already 'work' with Microsoft to get specific feature ideas for their phones.

Microsoft already dealt with PC OEMs having too much customization, and that is why it there are less options for PC OEMs today. However, it is also why Windows 7 and Windows 8 are the fastest, most secure and most stable versions of Windows ever.

Mobius Enigma said,
OEMs can't be allowed to 'touch' things in the OS that make it work differently, like circumventing or replacing core OS Apps like the People Hub, etc.
I agree with you, but it makes me wonder. Why exactly is Microsoft pursuing an OEM-centric strategy anyway with WP? WP is not Windows. Why not go all in, be like Apple and control the entire chain from end to end? No more dealing with whiny uncommitted OEMs. They do propose to be a devices and services company after all, right? Then let them take control of Nokia damn it, forget about gifting billions to Samsung and others and invest it all instead in creating a better ecosystem and device line-up, as simple as that.

Romero said,
I agree with you, but it makes me wonder. Why exactly is Microsoft pursuing an OEM-centric strategy anyway with WP? WP is not Windows. Why not go all in, be like Apple and control the entire chain from end to end? No more dealing with whiny uncommitted OEMs. They do propose to be a devices and services company after all, right? Then let them take control of Nokia damn it, forget about gifting billions to Samsung and others and invest it all instead in creating a better ecosystem and device line-up, as simple as that.

It is a good question.

My guess is that it has a lot to do with where WP came from and where Microsoft was when they changed direction from WM.

Going back to Plays4Sure, Microsoft created a lot of good partnerships with device OEMs and the products were successful for several years. As they wanted to expand out the features of Plays4Sure to 2.0 that allowed new subscription and streaming technologies, OEMs backlashed. They didn't want to create a device model and at the time Apple was putting legal pressure on the leaders like Creative, etc.

This is how and why Zune came into existence and why Microsoft entered the 'device' market themselves. They hoped that the Zune would be successful enough to create an ecosystem for other OEMs to follow with Plays4Sure v2.0.

It might have worked, except Microsoft started going through some internal crisis themselves and it even became a debate whether to allow OEMs to participate. The Xbox 360 was built around Zune's streaming/subscription technologies and Microsoft was starting to see themselves as both a hardware and software provider.

However, even with the innovation from the ZuneHD that brought a lot of good technologies to the industry (Gorilla Glass, etc), it failed. So Microsoft was left with the successful services/software side of Zune that is still at the core of the streaming media technologies, but with a lot of backlash because of the Zune hardware acceptance. (Infighting also helped to kill the Zune hardware.)

So by the time they were building WP7, that was a new platform with ties to the ZuneHD OS, Microsoft didn't want to create another Zune fiasco with the hardware. They also did well with OS licensing with Windows as they had with Plays4Sure v1.0.

Their backup plan at the time was to develop their own phones if they 'had' to, but didn't want to repeat the mistakes of the Zune hardware.

They were able to get OEMs on board, although Apple delivered several crippling blows, like the Verizon deal that got two WP7 devices cancelled and others delayed. It was after the Apple blows to WP7 that Microsoft looked again to develop their own device and instead decided to offer a partial partnership with Nokia.

So now that WP8 is doing well, and Nokia did well with the device leveraging their camera and audio technologies, along with their name and building nearly indestructible devices, it makes things a lot different for Microsoft.

If all that hadn't happened, Microsoft trying to bring their own device to the market probably would have failed hard.

Now they have the ability to play 'Apple' and produce their own devices with their own innovations and still encourage OEMs to participate if they want to do so.

The way WP is designed, there is no reason they can't do well with their own devices and also let other OEMs participate and continue to advance technology without being locked to Android.

That is what I know and my thoughts on the question. They could be Apple, but that isn't how Microsoft has ever worked, instead they have good relationships with hardware builders even when they compete with them in other areas; Sony is one good example.

Also if they decimate the WP OEM market, if their devices fail, the entire ecosystem collapses. By having other OEMs it creates less risk for developers and enterprise customers as the success isn't directly tied to one companies hardware attempts.


Mobius Enigma said,
Also if they decimate the WP OEM market, if their devices fail, the entire ecosystem collapses. By having other OEMs it creates less risk for developers and enterprise customers as the success isn't directly tied to one companies hardware attempts.
True, but that's predicated on their having other OEMs invested in WP. Practically speaking WP = Nokia/MS now anyway. I suppose you are right though, giving OEMs a choice (especially with no license fee) can be a good thing and maybe over time some will think seriously about competing with Nokia with WP if/once they tire of scrabbling over the scraps Samsung leaves for them with Android.

Not open enough is a good thing.. Just look at all the sh*tty, never updated, buggy Android variants by every phone maker

PmRd said,
Not open enough is a good thing.. Just look at all the sh*tty, never updated, buggy Android variants by every phone maker

he's not asking for the same. he's just asking for more. Why do we have to be so extreme? clearly OEMs want more, they don't want everything, and if you're MSFT, mr 3% marketshare, who cares really. What good is your uniform OS nobody uses?

PmRd said,
Not open enough is a good thing.. Just look at all the sh*tty, never updated, buggy Android variants by every phone maker

Yeah! No one is buying that Android crap!

Asmodai said,

Yeah! No one is buying that Android crap!

Even if people buy it doesn't change the fact that it's bloated, buggy and ridded with malware.

PmRd said,

Even if people buy it doesn't change the fact that it's bloated, buggy and ridded with malware.


OEMs don't care if it's bloated, buggy and riddled with malware if consumers are willing to fork over the cash to get those devices. What good is a non-bloated, non-buggy, and malware free phone to them if only a (comparatively) tiny amount of people by them.

So they can release a phone on android, have lots of people buy it, and be able to bundle crap with it getting extra money from the developers of that crap to have it included by default.
-or-
Release a phone on Windows Phone, have a (comparatively) small amount of people buy it, and get no extra money from crapware developers...

Hmmm, wonder which makes more sense for an OEM.
T

Asmodai said,

OEMs don't care if it's bloated, buggy and riddled with malware if consumers are willing to fork over the cash to get those devices. What good is a non-bloated, non-buggy, and malware free phone to them if only a (comparatively) tiny amount of people by them.

So they can release a phone on android, have lots of people buy it, and be able to bundle crap with it getting extra money from the developers of that crap to have it included by default.
-or-
Release a phone on Windows Phone, have a (comparatively) small amount of people buy it, and get no extra money from crapware developers...

Hmmm, wonder which makes more sense for an OEM.
T

Your argument is invalid because OEMs can still bundle all the crapware they want (and they do) with Windows Phone they just can't make it part of the system and #### everything up

PmRd said,

Your argument is invalid because OEMs can still bundle all the crapware they want (and they do) with Windows Phone they just can't make it part of the system and #### everything up

I guess it depends on what you're calling crapware. I was talking about alternative UIs (MotoBlur, HTC Sense, etc.), replacement for core apps (vendor specific camera app, gallery, address book, etc), which OEMs often do on android and can not do to the same degree on Windows Phone.
If you are only talking about the including like facebook and netflix apps then I don't even think that's usually the OEM that puts THAT crapware on your phone. That's typically the carrier (Verizon, AT&T, etc.) not the hardware manufacturer.

Let's put it this way.

Android is a like a cheap prostitute. More people use them because they are cheap but it won't be pretty and you better be careful because you may have problems later.

Windows Phone is like a classy escort. Less people use them because they are more expensive and harder to find but look great and have no problems

PmRd said,
Let's put it this way.

Android is a like a cheap prostitute. More people use them because they are cheap but it won't be pretty and you better be careful because you may have problems later.

Windows Phone is like a classy escort. Less people use them because they are more expensive and harder to find but look great and have no problems


That's all just your opinion. I'm just saying at the end of the day OEMs are going to go where they can make the most money. They don't care about bloatware or who crappy things look unless it turns away users. If users are buying the stuff in droves then they are going to sell it. If users aren't buying the stuff in droves they aren't going to sell it no matter how pretty it may be. Which is pretty or not is entirely opinion. Which one is selling more is not.

PmRd said,
Let's put it this way.

Android is a like a cheap prostitute. More people use them because they are cheap but it won't be pretty and you better be careful because you may have problems later.

Windows Phone is like a classy escort. Less people use them because they are more expensive and harder to find but look great and have no problems

Is that why flagship devices like the Galaxy & Note line are tearing up the sales charts, is because they are cheap? Meanwhile what are the biggest sellers for windows phone? oh year the 520/521 AKA the cheap ones

stop grasping at straws

I think a lot of OEMs simply haven't been competitive against Nokia in terms of the quality, distinctiveness, and variety of hardware released.

zhangm said,
I think a lot of OEMs simply haven't been competitive against Nokia in terms of the quality, distinctiveness, and variety of hardware released.

They've had no reason to do so. OEMs will go where the users are. They don't care about building up someone elses platform. If Windows Phone gets a significant number of users then OEMs will follow. MS doesn't (historically) allow for a large variety of hardware. They are getting a lot better but for a while there the list of Windows Phone supported hardware had very little wiggle room. MS doesn't allow for much software distinctiveness either. There really is no great incentive for OEMs to design devices for Windows Phone. Nokia did it because they went "all in" with MS and got exclusive API rights and such plus a ton of money for marketing, etc. It didn't really work out for them because they continued to collapse (not that that was Windows Phone's fault, but the hope was that Windows Phone would save them and it didn't) and now are in the process of being bought by MS. Clearly as part of MS they'll have even better access to the APIs which means there isn't really any point in OEMs trying to compete against them with an uneven playing field for a part of a tiny fraction of the smartphone market.

Asmodai said,
They don't care about building up someone elses platform.

They clearly cared about "building up" Google's platform from nothing. Why shouldn't they care about doing the same with Microsoft's?

TCLN Ryster said,

They clearly cared about "building up" Google's platform from nothing. Why shouldn't they care about doing the same with Microsoft's?

Because Google lets them build their own platform on top of the Android Open Source core. HTC considers Sense part of their platform. Samsung considers TouchWiz part of their Galaxy platform, etc. MS doesn't let OEMs do this. Now as a user maybe you like that because Windows Phone has a consistent look, heck maybe I like that myself, but clearly people aren't voting for consistency with their wallets. OEMs want to differentiate, they want to differentiate in software and they want to differentiate in hardware. MS tells OEMS what hardware the OS supports. Android says make whatever hardware you want, you'll just need to make the drivers for it and plug it into the Android core. Take Samsung's stylus for example. They added a stylus API before one was added to Android, they couldn't do that on Windows Phone.

Sorry, but I do not want to learn a new UI every time I change phones. This is also one of Windows greatest assets. Windows Mobile allowed OEMs to change the UI and it was a complete mess. The biggest turn off for me on Android is how much the OEMs change the interface from device to device with their bloatware skins.

Same.. don't get me wrong I like Android too, but one thing that I really prefer with WP is that there's consistency, you know exactly what you're getting when you buy a device. Some of the third party Android customizations are good, some are awful and/or can't be removed easily.. no quality control.

Android allows users to customise the experience, which is exactly what I'm looking for in a phone. I use Aviate with my Note 3 and love it. Windows Phone is far too rigid, plus it doesn't have the app support.

Just install the android rom you want, end of problem.
It's the first thing I do when I get an android device, this way I get rid of all the unwanted "bloatware", and it runs faster.

Avatar Roku said,
Sorry, but I do not want to learn a new UI every time I change phones. This is also one of Windows greatest assets. Windows Mobile allowed OEMs to change the UI and it was a complete mess. The biggest turn off for me on Android is how much the OEMs change the interface from device to device with their bloatware skins.

A big mess...relatively. OEMs had the ability to add their UI but users could also use the standard one. To be honest even today I prefer the honeycomb implementation for listing all the program on the device over the implementation in WP.

bigmehdi said,
Just install the android rom you want, end of problem.

Which can bring other problems, nor is it an ideal solution for all setups. Not everybody wants to deal with flashing their ROM and the potential bugs/stability issues that tend to go with that. I personally use Cyanogen on my one tablet because the alternative is being stuck with 2.x forever.. it works, but far from perfect. I have zero intention or desire to put that on my one phone.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Android allows users to customise the experience, which is exactly what I'm looking for in a phone.

Fine when you're the one that customized it in the first place because that's what you wanted and you can remove it again. Not so much when you're stuck with it because it's part of the OEM's modifications.

Max Norris said,
Fine when you're the one that customized it in the first place because that's what you wanted and you can remove it again. Not so much when you're stuck with it because it's part of the OEM's modifications.

It's called choice. If you don't like a particular theme or modification then simply don't buy that phone. Personally I like the touches that companies like HTC and Samsung put on their phones - to me they add value. Anyone who wants the stock experience can simply buy the Play edition of a particular handset.

Windows Phone and iOS don't give you that level of customisation. That's fine if you like them as they are.

theyarecomingforyou said,

It's called choice. If you don't like a particular theme or modification then simply don't buy that phone. Personally I like the touches that companies like HTC and Samsung put on their phones - to me they add value. Anyone who wants the stock experience can simply buy the Play edition of a particular handset.

Windows Phone and iOS don't give you that level of customisation. That's fine if you like them as they are.

I'll seriously never understand why some hate 'choice'. Why do you all love being limited? I'll never understand. If I paid $500 for something, I sure as hell want choice. Like a PC, I personally would never buy a chromebook because you cant do anything with it. I like a regular high powered PC that I can put any version of windows on, any version of linux on and a hackintosh if the PC is a popular one (supported).

Options generally make the 'most' people happy.

theslam08 said,

I'll seriously never understand why some hate 'choice'. Why do you all love being limited? I'll never understand. If I paid $500 for something, I sure as hell want choice. Like a PC, I personally would never buy a chromebook because you cant do anything with it. I like a regular high powered PC that I can put any version of windows on, any version of linux on and a hackintosh if the PC is a popular one (supported).

Options generally make the 'most' people happy.

I don't think people are against 'choice'; however, in theory it works much better than it does in actual practice.

Think about automobiles, there is a lot of customization. However, there are set of standards that all automobiles adhere to that make them usable by all drivers.

So it isn't about choice or customization, but where that line needs to be.

If car buyers could move the headlights around or remove the brake lights the functionality falls apart rather quickly, and sadly most consumers don't know what they truly need.

I agree that iOS and WP are a bit more rigged than what is probably needed.

However, with WP Microsoft is trying to create a consistent new ecosystem, and they can't have OEMs screwing up how things should work. There are also security concerns by allowing developers to touch key portions of the OS to customize it. WP8.1, like WP8 continues to extend OS features with ways 3rd party applications can 'connect' into the OS that doesn't compromise security or break basic functionality.

As I have mentioned here already, MS gave OEMs a lot of latitude in the 90s, and it hurt Windows. That level of customization is still there today, but OEMs are limited by licensing from implementing this customization themselves, leaving the option open to end users.

I love 'choice', but I don't want a platform that I have to train people how to use it differently based on what device they bought.

This is where I fall back to trying to evaluate the 'line' of standards in OS/Platform design standards that need to be met to retain usability and also keep features even if consumers don't realize they need them.

Also remember studies show that too many options/choice creates confusion and anxiety, so 'more' isn't always better. Just ask a professional printer that has 5000 fonts and why they don't show customers all fonts available. :)

Anyone trying to make money on WP will have a hard time since Nokia is so dominant. Same goes for Android and Samsung. It is not impossible to turn a profit with WP, but it will be hard.

techbeck said,
Anyone trying to make money on WP will have a hard time since Nokia is so dominant. Same goes for Android and Samsung. It is not impossible to turn a profit with WP, but it will be hard.

Nokia is dominant because nobody else trully invested in Windows Phone. Nokia did show that there is a lot of interested in Windows Phone when the phone is put in the frontside of shops. Particularly from new smartphone users. It's easy to use and its reflected in the consumer feedback reports. I think Samsung and HTC would see strong sales if they loaded some of their low to mid-range devices with WP instead of Android and put some afford into marketing them.

Ronnet said,
Nokia is dominant because nobody else trully invested in Windows Phone. Nokia did show that there is a lot of interested in Windows Phone when the phone is put in the frontside of shops.

Even if Samsung/HTC put more in to their WP devices, it will be hard to take away sales from Nokia. If someone mentions WP8, they assume Nokia. At least that has been my experience.

techbeck said,

Even if Samsung/HTC put more in to their WP devices, it will be hard to take away sales from Nokia. If someone mentions WP8, they assume Nokia. At least that has been my experience.

No it wouldn't, if Samsung put some more effort in WP8, they could take over the Windows Phone market in a couple of months.

Studio384 said,
No it wouldn't, if Samsung put some more effort in WP8, they could take over the Windows Phone market in a couple of months.

With how much Samsung hardware/construction is criticized, I doubt it. But hey, weirder things have happened.

techbeck said,

Even if Samsung/HTC put more in to their WP devices, it will be hard to take away sales from Nokia. If someone mentions WP8, they assume Nokia. At least that has been my experience.

I don't think so. Nokia is a name that holds some value but I dont think most consumers are getting their entry-level device for that reason. I think a nice design, simple usage and reasonable price are the main factors. Plus the Samsung name holds some value as well. Samsung can offer something similar and easily take a piece of the cake.

Nokia's succes comes from the fact that they only do Windows Phone. They are committed and release a horde of devices. People simply go out and buy a phone, like what they see and so WP grows. The thing is that they usually dont get to see a WP. There simply are much more Android handsets surrounding the WP offers.

If Samsung were to offer more of their handsets with WP then they would see their WP marketshare grow. WP, in total, would grow rapidly as well. It would validate WP as the third player, it would get more apps and power-users will follow. But I doubt Samsung would want that. They already have dominion. It's all the other players Microsoft should partner up with. Especially early on such OEMs could get a lot of support from MS and make some quick gains.

techbeck said,
Anyone trying to make money on WP will have a hard time since Nokia is so dominant. Same goes for Android and Samsung.

It's much worse on WP because Nokia controls over 90% of it, whereas Samsung has significantly less than that. The market for Android is much more competitive. Who wants to develop a phone when the OS vendor controls over 90% of the marketshare of it?

techbeck said,

It is not impossible to turn a profit with WP, but it will be hard.

If Nokia's device unit can't turn a profit when it's producing over 90% of Windows Phones, how can anyone else?

simplezz said,

It's much worse on WP because Nokia controls over 90% of it, whereas Samsung has significantly less than that. The market for Android is much more competitive. Who wants to develop a phone when the OS vendor controls over 90% of the marketshare of it?

No one really has tried to much in the WP market. There is room for another OEM to do well, but it won't be easy. Nokia seems to equal WP. Nokia is jus that dominant. OS aside, Nokia has a solid build phone, camera...and other things that other WP OEMs just have not been able to come close to.


If Nokia's device unit can't turn a profit when it's producing over 90% of Windows Phones, how can anyone else?

I thought they were making a profit. A small one, but thought they were at least making something.

techbeck said,

I thought they were making a profit. A small one, but thought they were at least making something.

AFAIK, once Nokia switched to WP, their devices unit never made a profit. Overall Nokia may have made a small profit, but that was mostly from maps, networking, and selling off assets like their headquarters.

And if Nokia can't make a profit from selling Windows Phones when they have a virtual monopoly on it, how can anybody else?

simplezz said,

AFAIK, once Nokia switched to WP, their devices unit never made a profit. Overall Nokia may have made a small profit, but that was mostly from maps, networking, and selling off assets like their headquarters.

False. Nokia's devices business made a profit of 270 million in Q4 2012. The total operating profit was about 440 million. Maps and networking was indeed profitable as well.

Don't forget that Nokia is heavily investing in creating innovative smartphones and building a new brand. Any other devices maker who starts using WP doesn't have to make these specific investments for WP. They already have a reputation as a smartphone maker and any innovations they bring to their Android handsets can also be brought to WP.

I think its a bit simplistic to say that Nokia's inability to quickly turn a profit is related to WP. Especially since they were struggling before WP existed.

simplezz said,
It's much worse on WP because Nokia controls over 90% of it, whereas Samsung has significantly less than that. The market for Android is much more competitive.
More competitive? I'd say less so when 95% of all Android profits go to Samsung. All other Android device makers are losing money. Apple and Samsung are most likely the only ones in the business turning a profit anyway.

Ronnet said,

False. Nokia's devices business made a profit of 270 million in Q4 2012. The total operating profit was about 440 million. Maps and networking was indeed profitable as well.

While they did make a small profit in Q42012, they made a loss for the entire year, and the loss was even worse in 2013, EUR590M

techbeck said,

No one really has tried to much in the WP market. There is room for another OEM to do well, but it won't be easy. Nokia seems to equal WP. Nokia is jus that dominant. OS aside, Nokia has a solid build phone, camera...and other things that other WP OEMs just have not been able to come close to.

Samsung could've done well if they tried, but I believe they just weren't interested. The Omnia 7 was a great phone. It had a great feel, great build and was all round a great device. However, it was severely gimped by the way it was sold (Mostly 8 GB models with the 16 GB models somewhat hard to find at times, depending on purchasing situation) which made them really painful to use after a while.

The build of it is IMO better than that of some of the Galaxy line and could've been successful, but it also came out at a bad time with iPhone/Android mania in full swing by phone retailers. My local carrier never really gave it any love, and it wasn't hard to find ill-informed people determined to steer you away from it without ever using it.

As one of the original partners, they could've captured the Windows Phone marketplace easily. LG's Optimus 7 was cheap and crappy and Dell's never really took off. Their main competition at the time was HTC's whatever, but I don't believe it was a match for Samsung's quality standard, plus the screen was shocking in comparison IMO. The Omnia 7 was easily the best of the initial bunch. Sadly, they chose not to pursue it and well, now they're a nothing player.

I personally don't care, my Nokia phone is much better anyway, but they could've capitalised if they wanted to I believe.