Asian OEM sees Windows Phone growing to up to 33% of the market on strength of Apple win

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imageThere have been a lot of discussion around the effect of the Apple/Samsung case on Windows Phone, with many saying there is a clear advantage and some arguing Windows Phone just does not have the momentum to take advantage of the ruling.

LiveMint reports from speaking directly to an Asian OEM that the effect may be more profound than even we suspect.

They quote an unnamed senior executive from a major Chinese OEM saying:

“Some of the other manufacturers of Android products like ourselves are prepared to face similar lawsuits from Apple.”

“The Apple-Samsung lawsuit has given us some reference point on our future innovation. We’ll focus on developing our own unique user interface based on the Android platform.”

“Even though the bulk of our shipments run on Android, the trend is to diversify into other products running on Windows,” the executive added, predicting that the percentage of Windows-based smartphone shipments would increase significantly, from less than 10% now to around one-third over the next few years.

“Smaller Android phone makers like (Taiwan’s) HTC, (Google’s) Motorola and Sony will have challenging times ahead,” said Seo Won-Seok, a Seoul-based analyst at Korea Investment and Securities. “They’ll face increasing production costs and rising entry barrier to the Android ecosystem. They now face a great risk of similar litigation from Apple.”

“For all these manufacturers it’s a risk management game,” said Andrew Milroy, Singapore-based vice-president of Frost and Sullivan, a consulting company noting that a company like LG, with only Android handsets, were particularly vulnerable. “They don’t want to put all their eggs in one basket.”

“From an OEM perspective, the verdict alone, and certainly an injunction on sales of any kind, levels the playing field between Android and Windows Phone,” said IDC analyst Al Hilwa. “At this point, the two platforms would have to fight on features and developer ecosystems to win.”

Jane Wang, a Beijing-based analyst from Ovum, did not think OEMs will turn to custom operating systems like Bada.

“Chinese handset makers are a practical bunch in that they will weigh the costs and benefits when coming up with products running on a different operating system,” said Wang. “It may not be worth their while.

Ron Laurie, a Silicon Valley-based specialist in IP and investment banking and co-founder of Inflexion Point Strategy Llc notes that Microsoft does not have it all its own way, noting that customers have made clear its preference for an iPhone-like user interface, even on Samsung’s products:

“Microsoft has been the beneficiary of this whole fight as the other non-Android option, but safety (from lawsuits) by itself is not enough. You have to appeal to consumers.”

Read more at LiveMint here.

More about the topics: android, microsoft, windows phone