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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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.

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

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?

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.

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