Huawei drops 'not profitable' Windows Phone as Microsoft faces new China anti-trust probe

By Danny Palmer
26 Aug 2014 View Comments
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Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Huawei has ditched Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile operating system - at least for the foreseeable future - because the company had difficulty persuading consumers to buy Windows smartphones.

That's what Richard Yu, director and CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, told the Wall Street Journal, citing a lack of profitability from selling Windows phones as the key reason for the decision.

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"We have tried using the Windows Phone OS. But it has been difficult to persuade consumers to buy a Windows phone. It wasn't profitable for us," he said. "We were losing money for two years on those phones. So for now we've decided to put any releases of new Windows phones on hold."

Yu added that Huawei "have worries about Android being the only option" for their smartphones, but argued that there's "no choice" on the matter, but that the firm has "good collaboration with Google".

When questioned about the possibility of using the Samsung-developed and Intel-backed Tizen operating system, Yu dismissed the idea, arguing the ecosystem doesn't have any chance of being successful.

"We have no plans to use Tizen. Some telecom carriers are pushing us to design Tizen phones, but I say 'no' to them. In the past, we had a team to do research on Tizen but I cancelled it. We feel Tizen has no chance to be successful," he said, adding: "Even for Windows Phone it's difficult to be successful."

Huawei's abandonment of Windows isn't the only problem Microsoft faces in China, with Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player facing the prospect of another anti-trust investigation in the country.

The issue of PCs automatically being equipped with the Windows operating system lies at the heart of the issue. Microsoft faces a new investigation into its commercial practices after being accused of being insufficiently transparent in providing information about its Windows and Office sales, Zhang Mao, the head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), told reporters in Beijing.

"The investigation is presently ongoing, and we will disclose the results to the public in a timely fashion," he said.

It isn't the first time Microsoft has faced an anti-trust investigation in recent years. Last year, European Commission regulators fined the company €561m for failing to adhere to commitments to provide European consumers with a choice of web browser.

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