Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are all supporting Windows Phone 8. It's unclear whether the absence of Sprint Nextel from the list of U.S. wireless operators supporting Microsoft has any connections to the company’s takeover by Japan's Softbank.
It’s important to note that Softbank expanded its smartphone market share in Japan by being the first carrier there to champion the iPhone. Softback backed the iPhone in Japan when others there predicted it would flop.
NTT Docomo, Japan’s largest cellular network operator, is known as Microsoft’s staunchest supporter. It has gone so far as promising to offer “added security features for corporate users of tablet computers running on the new Windows 8 operating system,” according to Nikkei. If true, that’s a great boost for Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablets in the enterprise market.
When it comes to Windows Phone 8, however, NTT Docomo is in a tough spot. Despite initial plans to sell Windows Phone 8 handsets this winter in Japan, Microsoft has postponed the release to an unspecified future date.
Microsoft is proceeding as planned with a Windows Phone 8 rollout in November, including the U.S., Europe and China. That has prompted much speculation in the Japanese media as to why Microsoft is stiffing Japan.
Regardless, the Japanese have no one to blame but their own handset manufacturers. Sharp, Fujitsu, NEC, Panasonic, Sony and Kyocera are all potential Windows Phone 8 handset suppliers to NTT Docomo. But the word on the street is that none of the domestic manufacturers has come up with handsets that can compete with other Windows Phone 8 models developed by Nokia, Samsung or HTC.
Truth be told, Microsoft can’t afford to spend resources supporting more Windows Phone 8s beyond the current Japanese models is already supports. Plus, Japan is a much smaller market than China and the U.S. The Japanese wireless market isn’t attractive to Microsoft in terms of return on investment, industry sources said.
Huawei's absence and Microsoft's apparent lack of interest in the Japanese smartphone market highlight the geopolitical and market issues that become even more interesting the more the "experts" ignore them.
wouldn't it perhaps also be that Microsoft windows 8 is not free for OEMs and is not customizable, while Android is? Since Huawei and ZTE seem to like doing their own thing when it comes to Android, perhaps that was a consideration too?
Or maybe they are just being smart and hedging their bets until they see whether Win 8 sinks or swims...
Huawei's missing-in-action at Microsoft's event this week may not have much to do with the politics, but rather the company's readiness of the final product.
That said, Jannie Luong, Huawei's spokesperson based in the United States, got back to EE Times and gave us the following official comment -- in regards to comments posted on Weibo by the company's vice president Yu Chengdong:
“Huawei has indeed been unfairly caught up in U.S.-China tensions lately so Mr. Yu’s brief observation is understandable. However, again Huawei Device looks forward to working with Microsoft when it officially launches the Windows Phone. We will provide further information about this shortly.”
"wouldn't it perhaps also be that Microsoft windows 8 is not free for OEMs and is not customizable, while Android is? "
Certainly no customizable, but I thought that most Android phone manufacturers are actually paying a fee to Microsoft for every phone sold to avoid patent lawsuits.
Paying a fee to Microsoft for every Android phone sold to avoid patent lawsuits? I have not heard of that at all. If true, that would be the first...
If you know this for fact, I would like to know. This is unlikely, though, unless MS has some sort of patents that the company asserted, everyone knows about, and everyone needs to pay for.
"Paying a fee to Microsoft for every Android phone sold to avoid patent lawsuits?"
The Guardian is fairly reliable ;-)
Got it. Thanks. It's true that Samsung settled with Microsoft. HTC has gotten into a similar arrangement wtih Microsoft.
Google is still fighting.
But I think it's inaccurate to make a sweeping statement and assumption that "most Android phone manufacturers are actually paying a fee to Microsoft for every phone sold to avoid patent lawsuits."
Legal fights are still ongoing, and it's not like Microsoft sued every Android phone manufacturer.