ZTE looks beyond Google’s Android, to launch Windows Phone 8, Mozilla OS smartphones

“Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE Corp. plans to launch smartphones using a mobile operating system it developed with Mozilla, the U.S. software company behind the Firefox web browser, in the first quarter of next year,” Paul Mozur and Juro Osawa report for The Wall Street Journal. “The move is the latest indication that handset makers are looking beyond Google Inc.’s dominant Android mobile operating system as they try to diversify the software platforms for their smartphones and other mobile devices.”

“ZTE Executive Vice President He Shiyou said at a press briefing Wednesday that the company, one of China’s largest mobile handset makers, will also launch smartphones using Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone 8 operating system at the end of this year or early next year,” Mozur and Juro Osawa report. “Along with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8, the new mobile operating system from Mozilla and ZTE will fuel discussions world-wide about possible alternatives to Android. Potential alternatives are drawing more attention as the technology industry is closely watching Apple’s patent war against rival smartphone makers using the Google software.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote of Windows Phone back on October 27, 2011:

Windows Phone will be popular. Over time, it’ll eat the lunch of the increasingly fragmented, increasingly insecure, and increasingly costly Android (losing patent infringement lawsuits and dropping features/paying royalties to multiple IP owners will do that to you).

The not-iPhone world will begin to dump Android and move to Microsoft’s mobile OS offering because it will eventually cost less, work better, and come with far fewer legal issues. In the iPhone wannabe market, it’s already happening (Nokia, for example). We expect the same to happen in the iPad wannabe market, too [with Windows 8/RT]. Google and Microsoft will long battle each other for the non-Apple markets and that’s a much better scenario for everyone than having a single ripoff artist flood the market with fragmented, insecure, beta-esque, mediocre-at-best products. Google’s attempt to be the next Microsoft is doomed.

This, of course, will also impact Google’s search business. Apple’s Siri will increasingly deliver info to users sans Google and Microsoft will, naturally, use Bing for their search. As we’ve said many times in the past: “Google will rue the day they got greedy by deciding to try to work against Apple instead of with them.”

The bottom line: We’d rather see a company trying unique ideas, even if – shockingly – it’s Microsoft, than the wholesale theft of Apple innovations that we’ve been seeing for over four years now. Don’t steal IP. Even worse, don’t steal IP and “claim to be innovators.” We have no problem with any companies that attempt to compete with Apple using their own unique ideas and strategies.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “cpbjr” for the heads up.]


  1. Too bad we can’t really make fun of Android over their fragmentation, since with the iPhone 5, developers now have to develop for 5 different device resolutions

    iPhone Retina
    iPhone 5

    iPad 3

    1. 5 is a whole let less than the 100+ different screen resolutions available for Android.

      Also, as a developer, I can assure you that if you build for a retina display first, building for the non-retina iPhones and iPads is as simple as resizing your artwork in most cases. The iPhone 5 is the first real challenge to development as you can’t simply resize and it’s not always acceptable to just cut off the edges of your app. In three years, most developers won’t even develop 640×960 or 320×480 anymore as they depend on hardware and software features incapable of running on older model devices.

    2. You’re joking, right? There are 3 screen ratios to take care of vs hundreds on Android, not to mention forks in the code, handsets that use some features and not others – the list goes on and on. Hardly considered fragmentation. I’m going to assume you’re not a developer.

  2. Dream on MDN. Microsoft has shown that they can’t compete in the smartphone wars. Don’t you recall that they’ve been in that business long before Apple and Google? Have you not seen the market share trends for Windows mobile? I’m glad you have faith in their strategy, but history is definitely against them here.

    Tablets could be another thing, but I don’t think so. If rumors are true, their lowest price tablet will be around $600. That’s iPad price range, not Android tablet price range. They’re not aiming to compete with Android in the bargain basement market, they’re aiming at Apple on the high end. Windows 8 is nice, but not iPad nice. The only thing going for their tablet strategy is Office. I’m not sure that’ll be enough to compete with the iPad.

    1. I’m afraid you might be right. As much as we’d like Microsoft to be a distant #2 their own ineptness and less than sterling reputation will probably sink that ship. There may be something to be said for consumer revenge too getting back at MS for all those years of unsavory Windows experiences and hassles. “Thank you sir may I have another?” isn’t flying anymore.

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