Invoking the shaky financials of competitors is probably not the smartest way to reject ongoing spying suspicions.
Say what you will about Huawei, but you can’t really describe the China-based smartphone manufacturer as predictable and keep a straight face. Of course, too many strategy shifts often lead to the opposite, namely a certain sense of volatility and erraticism.
Focused on low-end, affordable mobiles for as long as we can remember, Huawei has just done a U-turn, veering towards the challenging but profitable high-end market sector. As asserted before, Google will be the sole software-producing partner going forward, with Microsoft abandoned indefinitely.
Usually, when a partnership of this nature is broken, one tends to expect a diplomatic, vague explanation from involved parties. Something along the lines of “not the right time”, “insufficient resources to go both ways”, or “personality mismatch.”
But Huawei’s officials rarely beat things around the bush, so Joe Kelly, its head of international media affairs, came right out and said it. “We didn’t make any money in Windows Phone. Nobody made any money in Windows Phone.”
Ouch, that’s got to hurt Microsoft. Clearly, they knew business wasn’t great, and we knew it too. But to have a respectable OEM go on record with such direct, ruthless claims can’t be very pleasant.
Granted, we have to take Kelly’s statements with a pinch of salt. For starters, because Huawei can’t know what kind of money other companies did or did not make off Windows Phone. Besides, it’s not like they tried so very hard to make things work for themselves in the WP décor.
Huawei outed a modest Windows handheld called Ascend W1 in early 2013, then a positively mediocre W2 around a year ago. Neither device was pushed very aggressively anywhere in the world, and it’s almost like Huawei never wanted to earn outside of the Android ecosystem.
At the end of the day, we appreciate Huawei’s candor, although we can’t help but feel this is a move that’s bound to hurt both the Chinese OEM and Microsoft. For the latter’s sake, we hope Samsung or HTC won’t follow Huawei’s suit, and instead grow their Windows Phone aspirations.