Sunday, 16 March 2014 11:50

Huawei building dual Windows/Android phone Featured

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Chinese comms giant Huawei will soon release a mobile phone that will run both the Windows Phone and Android operating systems.

Huawei is already the world’s number three smartphone supplier after Samsung and Apple, though most of its phones are sold in China.

That will soon change. China is going 4G, which will give Huawei massive economies of scale to make a stronger push in Western markets. Part of its strategy will be to release phones that run both Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone mobile operating system.

“We are committed to making Windows Phone devices,” said Shao Yang, Huawei’s chief marketing officer, in an interview on TrustedReview’s website. “Compared with Android, the priority of Windows Phone is much lower but is still one of our choices of OS. We are definitely using a multi OS strategy.

With Windows Phone, one direction that we are now following is dual OS, as in Android and Windows together. If it is Windows only, maybe people will not find it as easy a decision to buy the phone. If they have the Android and Windows together, you can change it as you wish and it is much easier for people to choose Windows Phone. We think the dual OS can be a new choice for the consumer. It will be on sale in the US in Q2.”


With Nokia – and therefore soon Microsoft – now selling Android phones, the prospect of dual OS smartphones will soon be a reality. Nokia used last month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to announce its X family of low cost smartphones, which use Android but “provide an on-ramp to Microsoft services like Skype, OneDrive and outlook.com”.

They have a “fresh, tile-based user interface inspired by our Lumia family. All devices come with Fastlane, a screen which lets people switch between their favourite apps more smoothly. Out of the box, they can enjoy signature Nokia experiences including free HERE Maps and Nokia MixRadio.”

So Nokia/Microsoft will have Android phones with a Windows-like skin accessing Microsoft and Nokia apps – and Android apps. And now Huawei will join the party, though it remains to ne seen how that company will integrate Windows Phone and Android.

Whatever the case, the smartphone operating system wars just got a lot more interesting. Expect some innovative – and strange – hybrids this year. There are even rumours that Microsoft is moving towards making Windows Phone capable of running Android apps natively.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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