One more big phone maker has given up on Windows Phone. Huawei, the world's third-largest smartphone maker says that it will no longer release Windows Phone devices because it simply can't make any money on it. Where else can Microsoft turn?
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Richard Yu, the head of Huawei's consumer business group, was direct about the company's abandoning Windows Phone. He said:
"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. 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."
Back in 2012, Huawei was a relatively early adopter of Windows Phone, so it's not as if the company is a Johnny-come-lately to the platform. It's tried making money on the platform for two years, and simply hasn't been able to do it. Among the devices it has made are the Huawei Ascend W1 and W2, and the Huawei 4Afrika, aimed at the African market.
Huawei may not be familiar to you, because it specializes not in phones for the U.S., but in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.
On the plus side for Microsoft, the HTC One (M8) was just released, and it's a beautiful, high-end phone, probably the best Windows Phone you can buy right now. And back in February, it announced a number of new manufacturers that will develop Windows Phones, including Lenovo and ZTE among others.
Still, the Huawei loss is a big deal for Microsoft. Having the third-largest phone maker in the world cut the cord is not a good thing. Making things even worse is that Huawei is strong where Microsoft is weak, in emerging markets. Microsoft has targeted emerging markets for Windows Phone growth, and this will make it that much harder for Windows Phone to succeed unless it finds other, similar partners.