Microsoft historically has had a difficult time getting manufactures on board with building Windows Phone devices. One company which built two Windows Phones was Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications technology company. Huawei is currently the third largest smartphone manufacturer, behind Samsung and Apple, and having them making Windows Phones was a big win for Microsoft. Unfortunately they stopped making Windows Phones and have now been quoted saying, “[n]obody made any money in Windows Phone.”
Claiming that nobody made any money in Windows Phone is a bold claim and maybe the reason why so many phone manufacturers were staying away from building Windows Phones. However when Windows Phone 8.1 was announced, Microsoft announced a new range of hardware partners. Also we saw a new flurry of hardware makers come out with Windows Phones when Microsoft relaxed the hardware requirements. With Windows Phone 8.1, physical back, start, and search keys were not required. Instead, phone makers could use soft keys which would be at the bottom of the capacitive display. This made it possible to reuse hardware from Android Phones for Windows Phones.
The primary concern of Huawei was that they didn’t make money while they sold their phones. This could be because they designed and manufactured Windows Phones before they could have the same hardware as the Android phones they make. Maintaining a separate manufacturing line for Windows Phones was too costly and so Huawei dropped the operating system, but now the game has changed. Huawei could manufacture one phone which could run both Android and Windows Phone.
Enabling Windows Phone to run on Android hardware was a strategic move by Microsoft to enable more small phone companies like Blu, to make smartphones. These small companies can focus on a few models then ship them with both Android and Windows Phone. HTC has done just this with their M8 phone, which was released this year as a Windows Phone. By allowing this, Microsoft has kept Windows Phone cheap and has delayed more companies from abandoning it. The question remains if Windows Phone has enough users, and fans to stay for long.