Why would any other manufacturers make a Windows Phone?

Why would any other manufacturers make a Windows Phone?
Choosing a new phone is a fairly easy task these days, you pick your favourite OS, then you pick a size, then a manufacturer, then a particular model, then a colour and that’s pretty much it. But what happens if you’ve only got one manufacturer to choose from? Unless you want an iPhone then it’s going to be a problem.

I’ve written lots about Windows Phone in the past and I’m starting to get a little bit concerned. The relationship between Microsoft and Nokia is in my opinion damaging Windows Phone. Microsoft currently pay Nokia $250 million per quarter, to basically keep their loyalty. That extra money which Nokia can put into bribing developers and for marketing.

With Windows Phone 7 we had a choice of devices from ZTE, Samsung, LG, HTC, Acer and of course Nokia. Even at the launch of Windows Phone 8 ZTE, Huawei and LG were meant to be releasing phones. So what happened?

Is the Nokia factor off putting for new manufacturers?

The current Windows Phone offering is becoming a one horse race with only really Nokia showing any ongoing interest. I really thought that Samsung would have announced a new Ativ Windows Phone last week, but no they seemed to have given up on the OS. HTC also don’t seem to have said anything about Windows Phone recently, there are the rumours about the HTC Tiara which is a mid range device and also the rumours of a HTC One inspired device. But it’s not exactly inspiring.

Even if a new manufacturer were to move to Windows Phone they would have an upwards struggle. Nokia have every corner of the market covered, cheap, not so cheap, mid range, not quite high end and also high end. Doesn’t leave much space does it?

Also the Nokia exclusive apps as great as they are, are damaging for the OS as a whole. The few manufacturers left release a cheap ish phone, about the same price as one of the budget Lumias, no one is going to buy it, take the Huawei Ascend W1 or the HTC 8S. The consumer wins because of all of the added extras offered by Nokia. But as a whole it is another factor stopping new manufacturers from bothering.

For a new manufacturer to get any leverage they’d have to spend money on marketing, developers, exclusive apps, schmoozing networks and carriers and also they’d need to target all corners of the market and also come up with competing technology to Nokias PureView and also lastly come up with something different. A unique selling point that no other company had. Sounds easy really, but I can’t see HTC, Huawei or Samsung bothering will all of that. So who will it be? Personally I don’t think anyone will and that is a problem.

So why do I care? I like choice that’s why, I don’t just want to choose from five different Lumia phones. If something doesn’t change this time next year we might be exactly that postion.

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  • Mitch

    I’m a Windows phone user and I agree with you James.

    I’m not sure that MS had much of a choice though. MS had to play catch up to iOS/Android and If Nokia hadn’t thrown their full backing behind WP then I doubt we’d have seen as much progress as we have done so far (which isn’t exactly stellar anyway).

    Even if the other WP manufacturers drop out, at least Nokia is covering all price points unlike the iPhone which is a single manufacturer with a single device.

    The lack of apps is the biggest hurdle and I strongly believe that converging Win8 and WP8 is the way forward to help the WP8 eco system. It will be easier and more attractive for developers to be able to develop for both Win8 and WP8 without too much alteration of the code and the Windows eco system is a lot bigger than WP8.


    • James Pearce

      Hi Mitch

      I didn’t really think about it from that angle. Without the whole Nokia Microsoft relationship Windows Phone would be nowhere. A necessary evil I guess.

  • Anonymous

    I believe Nokia being a Windows Phone only outfit now is damaging to both MS and Nokia. From what I can tell, one of the main things which appears to put people off buying a new Nokia is the fact that it’s Microsoft only.

    And you’re right – a lack of choice isn’t a good thing, and Microsoft’s false manipulation of the market hasn’t helped anybody, really.

    I realise a minority of people rate Windows Phone, but for them to gain any real market share, their entire business model has to change – or at least keep up with the times. This is true for all the markets they are attempting to infiltrate.

    Look at the fiasco with the new XBox One – who treats their entire customer base with such disdain, yet expects them to still hand over the cash in huge lumps for their latest POS? They certainly act like they have no idea.