ZTE’s decision to jump on board the Windows Phone train with a mouthful of tasty Mango has seemingly pushed arch-rival Huawei’s hand, with the company’s CMO confirming that it will “probably” release a WP-based device in 2012. Exec Victor Xu told ZDNet that Huawei has “had some discussions with Microsoft” but has so far been “just watching” the market’s response to the Windows Phone platform.
ZTE’s involvement as a new Windows Phone OEM – alongside manufacturers Acer and Fujitsu, Microsoft announced this week – is expected to see handset prices driven down. The company is known for its budget-priced smartphones, usually sold as rebadged devices carrying carrier branding.
Throwing Huawei into the mixture would likely accelerate that process, though Nokia’s presence as Microsoft’s most significant partner should also have a considerable affect on Windows Phone’s presence in more emerging markets. A gradual loosening of minimum specifications will assist in that; Microsoft’s first batch of Windows Phone 7 handsets were held to a strict hardware pattern, something which not only cut down on individuality but meant prices were reasonably high.