Lenovo will not be building any Windows phones

October 4, 2016

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Lenovo doesn’t see any point to making Windows phones – Channel Web reports.

In a speech given at the Canalys Channel forum, Lenovo’s COO said the following:

We don’t have Windows phones or any plans to introduce a Windows Phone.

I don’t see the need to introduce a Windows Phone and I am not convinced Microsoft is supporting the phone for the future,

Windows 10 is a good operating system and will be a big opportunity in terms of refresh in the commercial space.”

There are two things to unpick here from the quote. First of all, Lenovo denies having any Windows Phones – if readers recall correctly, there is a Lenovo branded Windows 10 Mobile phone – which was to be released in mid-October. Lenovo’s statements here make the release of that phone seem quite, unnecessary.

Secondly, Lenovo sees “no need” to release a Windows phone, which is far more troubling for Microsoft (in the parallel universe where they care about Windows phones). While Windows Phones once offered a differentiated integrated platform with a fluid interface, Windows 10 Mobile is no longer as cohesive, nor as pleasant to use as Windows Phone 8.1, with a much smaller and still shrinking library of useful apps (unless you really need 101 ways to reddit, check the weather and use Twitter) than Windows Phone 8 circa 2013. Continuum is cool, but irrelevant.

Most damningly, Lenovo is not confident in Microsoft supporting the platform “for the future”. Windows 10? Sure. Windows 10 Mobile…eh…maybe not. Aside from tossing Microsoft’s “ecosystem momentum” chart under the bus, this mirrors the sentiment expressed earlier this year by another Chinese company – WeChat who observed that”Users on the Windows Phone platform keeps declining and have moved to other platforms, but [we] didn’t notice that Microsoft is showing any effort to retain them”

While we have previously expressed concerns that Microsoft’s very public abandonment of Windows phones (lip service and fanciful dreams of a Surface phone aside) will have a tangible effect on the uptake of Windows phones by…well…anyone who matters (OEMs and app developers), this is the second time an OEM is expressing this publicly, and a first for one of Microsoft’s own major OEMs.

“Windows 10 is a good operating system and will be a big opportunity in terms of refresh in the commercial space. But with the Windows phone, it is more difficult to see a future.”

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