updated 10:45 pm EDT, Mon July 18, 2011
Apple may push phone makers to WP7 with HTC win
Apple's early win against HTC has sent some Chinese phone makers running to Windows Phone 7, a source said. Mainland Chinese paper 21st Century Business Herald understood that local companies were adding or improving their support for Windows Phone and would use the new Mango build alongside or in place of Android. Huawei and ZTE were already planning to add WP7 devices, although for them it was to diversify their lines more than a defensive strategy.
Other strategies to mitigate Apple's win at the ITC would involve in-house OS development or pushing carriers to customize the Android phones. By getting a custom install, carriers would be effectively bound to the fate of the phone maker and forced to support it if a lawsuit targeted a phone.
The concern is dampened somewhat by the nature of many of the companies. A large number of them feel that they're not important enough to be targeted either by Apple or Microsoft. Both have usually focused their attention on the companies with the most financial impact, such as HTC and Motorola.
Both Apple and Microsoft have been hoping to raise the cost of using Android by adding royalties to the otherwise free-to-license OS. Apple has been less particular, although Microsoft's role as a licensor of its own OS has seen it potentially cut discounts depending on whether or not a phone designer also agrees to use Windows Phone. Microsoft so far makes more money on Android licensing than it does its own poorer-selling platform.