In an interview taken at MWC 2014, Huawei's CMO, Shao Yang, opened up about the company's problems with Windows Phone. Essentially, it's the bigger licensing cost, the so-called "app gap", and the fact that WP is a closed platform that concern the Chinese giant. Yang thinks that "all Windows Phone [devices] looks too similar, and it is hard to differentiate different brands from each other." We assume that he refers to the software and user experience, instead to the hardware design. Yang explained that, unlike the open-source Android, Windows Phone "blocks a vendor to make their own innovation", which sounds a little clueless - after all, a large percentage of hardware and software innovations in computing have happened on PCs running Windows. And in the context of smartphones, Nokia has successfully implemented its own standout photo and hardware features on Windows Phone.
However, Yang claims that Nokia is privileged to certain Microsoft APIs and has an advantage, which he expects will grow bigger as the two companies merge. "When Microsoft and Nokia combine together, it will be even harder to open the API." - he believes, and adds that Microsoft gobbling up the Finns' devices division will "not make the competition fair". The API claim is curious, as we think that
such unfair competition would have sparked a strong outrage among manufacturers.
Overall, there can't possibly be a clearer indication of Huawei's lack of confidence in Windows Phone. Although the company is on the Microsoft hardware partnership cruise, it's obvious that the bulk of its mobile efforts will remain focused on Android for the time being. Some of Yang's arguments are fair - it's inarguable that Android as an open-source platform lets the entirety of a vendor's vision come through, and its plausible that opening up WP will let other makers explore their own ideas about the ever-present Live tiles.
Would you like to see vendors apply their custom “skins” and user experiences on Windows Phone in the same way they do on Android?