Huawei plans to release a smartphone that runs both Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android in the U.S. market in the second quarter of this year, according to a Huawei executive.
"With Windows Phone, one direction for us--and one that we are now following-- is dual OS. Dual OS as in Android and Windows together," Huawei device CMO Shao Yang told Trusted Reviews.
Yang added: "If it is Windows only, maybe people will not find it as easy a decision to buy the phone. If they have the Android and Windows together, you can change it as you wish and it is much easier for people to choose Windows Phone."
"We think the dual OS can be a new choice for the consumer," he said. "It will be on sale in the U.S. in Q2."
It's unclear when the device would go on sale or if it would be sold through a U.S. carrier. A Huawei spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Yang said the company, which was the No. 3 smartphone maker in the world in the fourth quarter, according to IDC and Strategy Analytics, is "still committed to making Windows Phone devices." However, he thinks the dual-boot approach would serve Windows Phone better.
The Huawei executive also made it clear that Huawei will continue to favor Android, which it has used for its flagship phones, like the recently announced Ascend G6 phone. "Compared with Android, the priority of Windows Phone is much lower but is still one of our choices of OS," he said. "We are definitely using a multi-OS strategy."
Yang also said Huawei is looking at other operating systems and platforms. The company is a backer of the open-sourced Linux-based Tizen platform but Yang did not seem too keen on Tizen. "I think on this partner (Tizen) we are not very clear," he said.
Microsoft recently announced new Windows Phone partners including Foxconn, Gionee, Lava, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Longcheer, JSR, Karbonn and ZTE. Previous Windows Phone supporters include Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Samsung Electronics, HTC and Huawei. Microsoft is looking to gain the support of consumers in emerging markets with cheaper Windows Phones this year. A dual-OS device would offer some appeal to consumers since Android has more apps than Windows Phone but Windows Phone offers Microsoft Office and deeper integration with Microsoft services.
Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported that, after facing pressure from Google and Microsoft, Asustek has scrapped plans to sell a high-end device designed to run Android and Windows 8.1.
The device, the Transformer Book Duet TD300, was unveiled in January at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show. The gadget, which converts from a tablet to clamshell-style laptop, was expected in the first half of this year. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich even showed off the device during his CES keynote, since Intel chips powered the device.
However, according to the report, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter, Google and Microsoft pressured Asus to put the device on hold indefinitely, so as not to dilute their own respective operating systems. The report noted that Microsoft would not want to give Google any opportunity to crack its hold on the enterprise computing market.
Google declined to comment, according to the Journal, and Microsoft said its policies haven't changed for PC makers. "Microsoft will continue to invest with to promote best-in-class OEM and Microsoft experiences to our joint customers," the company said.
- see this Trusted Reviews article
- see WPCentral article
- see this ZDNet article
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this GigaOM article
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