updated 11:40 am EDT, Thu September 2, 2010
Samsung says Windows Phone 7 too niche
Samsung will downplay its Windows Phone 7 devices in favor of Android and its in-house Bada platform, its mobile marking head YH Lee said in an interview Thursday. He promised Reuters just one device using Microsoft's OS as there was some "professional, specialized demand" for it but stressed that Android was more important. Google's platform is not only friendly to Samsung's customization, as it's "open and flexible," but is more popular as well, the executive said.
WP7 follows a more Apple-like model and doesn't allow much customization beyond a handful of apps and shaping a design around minimum specs.
There also wasn't much visible demand for Symbian, Lee said. Samsung's last major Symbian phone was the i8910, which shipped last year.
The remarks could come as a wound to Microsoft. Samsung had been pegged as a preferred WP7 launch partner but now may have little sustained involvement compared to its Android and Bada efforts. Samsung had once been one of Microsoft's most loyal manufacturers, building smartphones almost exclusively with Windows Mobile and hopping onboard the UMPC bandwagon, but years of struggling sales has led it to drop the software for all but its Windows notebooks. Its only current tablet, the Galaxy Tab, is based on Android and won't have any Windows equivalents.
Microsoft still has support in sheer numbers, including help from Dell, HTC and LG, but at these companies will also have a minority role.