Huawei commits to Windows Phone in wake of Microsoft/Nokia deal

A Huawei executive said the Chinese vendor remains committed to supporting Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone platform in the wake of Microsoft's decision to pay around $7.2 billion for Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) handset business.

Other Windows Phone partners, such as Samsung Electronics and HTC, have been more muted in their reaction to the deal. Nokia makes more than 80 percent of all Windows Phones sold as of the second quarter.

"We will continue to develop devices running Windows Phone, and launch more products," Richard Ren, a Huawei executive who heads the company's consumer unit in Europe, told reporters in Stockholm on Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal. "We remain one of Microsoft's strategic partners."

Analysts have said that Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's hardware division could complicate its relationship with other Windows phone vendors.

Huawei was the No. 5 smartphone maker in the world in the second quarter, according to Strategy Analytics, with 11.1 million smartphone shipments, up from 6.6 million in the year-ago period. The company is trying to bulk up its presence with higher-end models aimed at Western markets. According to ABI Research, Huawei is the sixth largest maker of mobile phones in the world.

HTC and Samsung have each moved toward Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android as their primary smartphone platform, releasing flagship products running the latest Android software. Other Windows Phone licensees have moved on: LG Electronics last year put its support for Windows Phone on the back burner to focus on Android.

The vast majority of Huawei's flagship products, such as the Ascend P2 and Ascend Mate, also run Android. As The Next Web notes, earlier this year Huawei released a Windows Phone device, the low-end Ascend W1, Huawei's first Windows Phone 8 device. Smaller rival ZTE also has supported Windows Phone in the past, but it, too, puts the bulk of its smartphone efforts behind Android.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this The Next Web article
- see this Forbes article

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