Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android are dominating the smartphone operating system market but Microsoft’s Windows Phone (WP) platform is catching up.
WP replaced Blackberry as the third largest operating system last year. It is a distant third, according to technology research firm Gartner. But judging by the software giant’s recent moves, it won’t be long before things begin to change.
Microsoft is said to be splashing out US$2.6 billion on subsidies for handset manufacturers to produce phones using the WP system.
According to Eldar Murtazin, the editor of a Russian technology blog, Samsung will receive US$1.2 billion, Chinese maker Huawei will get US$600 million and Sony US$500 million.
Huawei expects its 2013 operating profit to rise 3 percent to 29.4 billion yuan (US$4.85 billion), Yicai.com reports. That means any subsidy from Microsoft would be immaterial.
But Huawei won’t want to miss the chance to further expand its overseas phone business in emerging markets, where Windows phones are becoming increasingly popular.
Huawei has released two WP models — Ascend W1 and W2 — and sales were pretty encouraging. The company said sales of Ascend W1 topped one million units in United States and Europe in just three months after its global launch in March 2013.
Prospects look even brighter in emerging markets. Microsoft said Windows phones have seen record sales during the Christmas and New Year holidays, with sales outstripping those of Apple’s iPhones in 24 major markets across the globe, including Italy, India, South Africa and Malaysia.
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