When it comes to smartphone operating systems, Google’s Android dominates the field in worldwide market share. Apple iOS is a distance second, while Microsoft’s Windows Phone and BlackBerry’s Blackberry 10 OS are considered also-rans for the most part.
Huawei’s Joe Kelly isn’t doing Microsoft any favors in an interview he recently gave to The Seattle Times. In it Kelly, who is Huawei’s head of international media affairs, claimed that his company didn’t make any money on the Windows Phone smartphones that it sold, which includes the Ascend W1.
However, Kelly went on to make the bold claim that, "Nobody made any money in Windows Phone."
While we’re not so certain that Kelly can speak for all manufacturers when it comes to making money on Windows Phone, there’s no question that the platform has been a bust for Huawei. In late August, Richard Yu, who runs Huawei’s consumer business group, told The Wall Street Journal, “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.”
At last count, Microsoft was sitting at roughly 2.5 percent of the global smartphone market according to IDC, putting it just a few percentage points ahead of BlackBerry with its anemic 0.5 percent share.
Microsoft provides Windows Phone free to OEMs and has signed up a number of big-name players including Samsung, HTC, Lenovo, LG, Foxconn, and ZTE. It has also signed up a number of lesser known — to a U.S. audience — companies like Gionee, Lava, Longcheer, JSR, and Karbonn.
Microsoft is counting on third-party support to help boost Windows Phone market share, but the only high-profile manufacturer to take advantage of the platform in recent months has been HTC with the unfortunately named One (M8) for Windows. And many would argue that Microsoft’s efforts with its own-branded hardware (formerly Nokia) have done little to advance the platform.
Microsoft has spent its time releasing numerous low-end and mid-range offerings while completely avoiding bleeding edge flagship smartphones to take on the latest and greatest Android devices from Samsung, HTC, and LG — not to mention the latest crop of iPhones from Apple.