Digitimes: Nokia and high license fees scaring of Chinese OEMs

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Digitimes reports that Chinese and Taiwanese OEMs have postponed plans to launch Windows Phones this year due to a combination of factors.

The main one is likely that Windows Phone is currently still a small segment of the market, while analysts have predicted the OS would reach 10% market share by this point already. It has been a much harder battle than predicted.

The second is Nokia’s dominance of the market, with the company taking in excess of 70% of new Windows Phone sales, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.

Lastly they claim Microsoft has refused to lower license fees for Windows Phone, and has not budged on refusing to allow OEMs to customize and differentiate the OS, making it difficult for them to compete.

Digitimes notes since Microsoft offered WP8 in the fourth quarter of 2012, Nokia has so far launched six WP8 smartphone models, while Samsung Electronics, HTC and Huawei Device launched WP8 smartphones initially but then have not launched additional models.

All this is not to say Windows Phone’s share of the market is insignificant and not worth owning.  With Windows Phone expected to reach close to 10 million shipments in Q2 2013 this would significantly exceed HTC’s shipments for example and match growing vendors like ZTE, Huawei and LG’s Q1 2013 results.  These vendors however lack the ability to compete with Nokia, and Nokia’s single-minded commitment to Windows Phone has allowed it to grow its market share in parallel with iOS and Android, instead of competing directly in the fiercely contested Android market.

Do our readers think Nokia’s dominance of Windows Phone was inevitable and will continue, or should Microsoft be cultivating other OEMs also by lowering license fees and allowing them more freedom to differentiate, much like Nokia has already? Let us know below.