In the past few months, Microsoft added quite a few hardware partners to the list of Windows Phone OEMs, including a bunch of China-based manufacturers. Despite Microsoft’s best efforts, it seems the Chinese OEMs are reluctant to enter the Windows Phone market, at least for now. This comes as surprising news, even after the Redmond-giant waived off the license fees for mobile devices below 9-inch display.
The report surfaced from Digitimes, who cites the usual industry sources, so we recommend our readers take this report with a grain of salt. “China-based handset vendors and ODMs are still reluctant to launch Windows Phone (WP)-based smartphones in 2014 despite Microsoft’s efforts to promote its WP platform without charging license fees for mobile devices with a below 9-inch display and to bundle sales with Qualcomm’s QRD (Qualcomm reference design) platforms, according to industry sources,” says Digitimes in a report.
Microsoft also teamed up with Qualcomm, bundling its WP platform with Qualcomm’s handset solutions, giving OEMs another incentive to adopt the OS. However, the OEMs are still concerned about the time and production costs needed to adopt and support the Windows Phone OS, compared to Google’s Android. They’re also complaining that use of peripheral chips and some key components for product differentiation may increase the costs, offsetting the benefits Microsoft offered by waiving off the license fees.
Windows Phone still has a lot to gain in China, which is dominated by Android, thanks to their local smartphone manufacturers, who are throwing in cheap Android handsets every now and then. If Chinese OEMs start releasing Windows Phone handsets in their region, there’s a good chance that Microsoft with rack up some decent market share. Until then, it might be a difficult task for the company to attract customers in the region.
In the end, I must remind you that the report surfaced from Digitimes, which has kind of a shaky track record — so an appropriate amount of speculation is required.