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Apple's win against HTC driving some firms to Windows Phone

updated 10:45 pm EDT, Mon July 18, 2011

Apple may push phone makers to WP7 with HTC win

Apple's early win against HTC has sent some Chinese phone makers running to Windows Phone 7, a source said. Mainland Chinese paper 21st Century Business Herald understood that local companies were adding or improving their support for Windows Phone and would use the new Mango build alongside or in place of Android. Huawei and ZTE were already planning to add WP7 devices, although for them it was to diversify their lines more than a defensive strategy.

Other strategies to mitigate Apple's win at the ITC would involve in-house OS development or pushing carriers to customize the Android phones. By getting a custom install, carriers would be effectively bound to the fate of the phone maker and forced to support it if a lawsuit targeted a phone.

The concern is dampened somewhat by the nature of many of the companies. A large number of them feel that they're not important enough to be targeted either by Apple or Microsoft. Both have usually focused their attention on the companies with the most financial impact, such as HTC and Motorola.

Both Apple and Microsoft have been hoping to raise the cost of using Android by adding royalties to the otherwise free-to-license OS. Apple has been less particular, although Microsoft's role as a licensor of its own OS has seen it potentially cut discounts depending on whether or not a phone designer also agrees to use Windows Phone. Microsoft so far makes more money on Android licensing than it does its own poorer-selling platform.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. iphonerulez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2008

    +5

    That's a wise choice since

    Microsoft owns WP7 lock, stock and barrel so there'd be little risk involved of starting production of an Android smartphone and then have it interrupted. Pay the licensing fee and they're in business. As far as I'm concerned, this action will begin the slowing of Android growth. You'd figure that the Chinese firms would stick with Android to the last, but apparently that won't be the case. If there is a transition of companies moving from Android to WP7, Apple stands the most to gain in the short run as long as Apple can boost iPhone production. It's going to be sweet for Apple to profit from licensing fees if HTC decides to pay.

  1. chas_m

    Moderator

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +5

    Good analysis, but ...

    ... you're too late. Android growth has already started slowing -- but for other reasons (primarily "doesnt have a very good app store" and "the apps kinda suck" and "Androids are for the cheap-end of the smartphone market and users don't buy anything" and "developers are no longer enthusiastic about the platform" and "lots of security/malware issues" and "turns out curated isn't such a bad idea," etc.).

    The lawsuits are likely to further erode the Android has made. My guess would be that Android will continue to do well overall, since in a very short time (just a few years) "feature" phones will all be replaced with some level of "smart" phones, and Android will continue to be the bottom-feeder of that market as it is now. There's nothing wrong with that, and frankly I'd rather it be Google than Apple on that front. Google will simply be taking the role that MS would have in the smartphone arena had they not been YEARS late to the party with nothing special to offer.

  1. chefpastry

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2005

    +6

    No sympathy for Google

    Google deserves this and more. Their blatant, shameless copying of iOS is disgusting. I hope the slew of other patent infringement cases against them also sticks including Oracle's.

    While I agree with most of what chas_m said, I'd be happier to see Android die completely, including for the low end.

    BTW, where the F are you, wrenchy?

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Jan 2008

    -1

    Possibly true

    This is all well analyzed, but it makes a huge assumption...that people will buy a WP7 phone in place of an Android phone.

    The hardware attributes being what they may, the OS plays a big part in people "wanting" to get the phone. There are reasons that WP7 is lagging in sales; one of which is simply the OS is not as appealing as Android or iOS. I've tried a WP7 phone...it's different, but it's not better.

    The mantra of "if you build it, they will come" does not necessarily hold true in phones.

    /

  1. facebook_David

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jul 2011

    -4

    comment title

    The two patents are Mac OS patents from 1994 that Apple would not have been granted outside of the US, why should Chinese companies care about American IP ? Companies like ZTE are creating WP7 phones because Microsoft is throwing money at OEMs to join the party.
    These kind of lawsuits are just going to push mobile innovation out of the US, nobody wins when it comes to software patents that are just virtual reproductions of physical events (Like Apple's patent on slide to unlock)

  1. driven

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: May 2001

    0

    WP7 has one problem

    While this (and the Nokia deal) bodes well for WP7, the one thing that could hold them back is the lack of WP7 tablet offering. Microsoft still thinks a full blown version of Windows is appropriate for Tablets. Meh ...

    Hoping HP gets some traction here.

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Apr 2011

    0

    What win?

    The patents claims have just received the OK from the ITC to look further into the matter. So no "win" yet, just some more waiting until they are dismissed.

    Apple IS desperate

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