Chinese Fireworks

Recently, after Microsoft unveiled the “Mango” update, which was arguably, a software update, it released a teeny tiny interesting bit of news on the hardware side too. Am talking about the three new OEMs joining Microsoft’s party. They are Acer,Fujitsu, and behold .. ZTE, the fourth largest mobile phones manufacturer in the world !

Yes , once , and still ,majorly an infrastructure manufacturer ( like GSM equipment, routers etc. ), ZTE has joined the Windows phone ecosystem. They are already in the Android ecosystem for some years now and boy, did they make a killing ! Almost all Android phones launched by Indian pseudo-manufacturers were licensed from ZTE, like the overtly famous Micromax Andro based on the ZTE Penguin and the Dell XCD35 which was wildly popular in the U.K by the name of “Orange San Francisco” is nothing but a ZTE Blade. Impressive, no ?

Not only that, we are getting news about  ZTE’s arch rival Huawei, it has proclaimed that it is going to develop Windows Phones based on “Mango” starting 2012, although this is not completely a done deal, it’s in serious talks and their CMO deems it a certain possibility. So, starting 2012 , we may see the Chinese behemoths battling it out in their homeland and worldwide.

Think about that for a while and guess which is the fastest growing smartphone market in the world ? China !

They were the fastest to adopt smartphones, since 2009, the year which marked the launch of 3G networks in China. Since then, people have been very rapid in adopting “Internet consumption” devices. And who was at the forefront of this phenomenon ? The Chinese government themselves.

The government-controlled China mobile is the largest and most used telecommunication network , it runs on a specific alien network called TD-SCDMA which is not widely used anywhere, except China. While Apple struggled to launch a china-specific model to capitalize on the booming market, China mobile came up with it’s own range of smartphones called oPhones which are all based on the Google Android OS.

The PC makers recognized this as a huge opportunity and started lining up models based on the oPhone brand. First, it was lenovo, then Dell and Acer, all had models on that platform, and all were legacy PC makers. So, they knew, even HP saw it, Mobile phone computing is the future, recognizing this, now every legacy PC manufacturer on the planet wants to make a smartphone. Other than this, local Chinese manufacturers such as ZTE and Huawei jumped onto the bandwagon.

So, what do we get ? 200 models of smartphones(and counting..) in China Mobile alone. That is monstrous for a single market. Clearly, China single handedly brought on the Android revolution, while we thought it was the U.S alone. Undoubtedly the open nature of the Android ecosystem brought this change , a massive change.

Interestingly , if we are looking at the OEM partners for Windows Phone, they are almost similar. For example : Legacy PC manufacturers like Dell, Asus, Acer, Fujitsu and mobile phone manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, LG,ZTE and recently, Nokia.Most of them already have a strong significance in the Chinese market ,  with some relaxation from Microsoft’s chassis requirements and entry of budget players like ZTE and Huawei, it surely will drive down the costs and make it affordable, which is the most important criteria in the massive Chinese market.

Add a wide variety of PC manufacturers, some mid-range or budget manufacturers(ZTE,Huawei), some phone manufacturers (HTC,Samsung,LG), the supply strength and reach of Nokia, the mass of China , and finally, the asian language support for Windows Phone ” Mango “, it is a recipe for RDX . Serious market explosion. I mean, really , can you imagine the mass at which manufacturers would dole out phones one after the other. All are in it for the money, very much like Android.

This doesn’t mean that the Windows Phone will race to the top in just a year, but it will be an explosion compared to the dud, that is now. I am very clear now, Nokia have chosen the right path.

We are looking at the “Third ecosystem” of 2012.

P.S If you are wondering why manufacturers would choose Windows Phone along with Android, well it’s $$$ and then, this .

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