Huawei Turns Its Back on Tizen

by Matt Klassen on August 28, 2014

Although the name Huawei means very little to the North American mobile consumer (thanks to American regulators), the Chinese telecommunications firm is poised to challenge the likes of Samsung and Apple for global mobile dominance. With that in mind, perhaps its no surprise that despite pressure from carriers to develop Tizen-powered smartphones Huawei is steadfastly denying that it has any interest in Samsung’s pet OS project, with Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business group, explaining that his company has determined “Tizen has no chance to be successful.”

But try as he might to convince the world that Tizen has no future, one can almost see the puppet strings controlling Yu, evidenced by his laboured endorsement of Google and its Android operating system. “We have worries about Android being the only option, but we have no choice,” Yu told the Wall Street Journal. “We have a good collaboration with Google.”

I would guess, however, that Google is but one of many puppet masters attempting to control the Chinese telecom firm, as Huawei continues to face pressure from the Chinese government to embrace a home grown OS (rather than American Android or South Korean Tizen), as well as internal pressure to avoid embracing a direct competitor’s technology.

With continued delays in product rollouts, one might think Huawei is not the only firm to question the longevity and viability of Samsung’s Tizen project. In fact, Samsung itself might be having difficulty finding the value in continuing on with this project, given the market’s general unwillingness to even give it a chance.

Beyond that, I have to think that Huawei’s unconditional yet decidedly uncomfortable support of Android is coming in no small part from quiet encouragement from Google, as I would bet everything I have that the search engine giant is looking for another dedicated global partner to help continue to spread Android’s dominance, likely promising Huawei that coveted top spot among mobile manufacturers that is currently held by Samsung in exchange for Huawei’s unquestioning loyalty.

But Samsung may be able to take some solace in the fact that Tizen is not the only platform targeted in Huawei’s state of the union address, as the Chinese firm noted that Microsoft’s Window’s Phone wasn’t doing so hot either. Although Yu stopped short of saying that Microsoft’s platform had no future, he did mention that his company has lost money on the OS and is suspending production of Windows Phone devices. “Even for Windows Phone, it’s difficult to be successful,” Yu told the Journal.

Conspiracy theories about Google quietly controlling the mobile market aside for a moment, it does seem Huawei has recognized the reality of today’s mobile landscape: hitch your wagon to the free, open source Android and ride it to global dominance; once that’s done, you’ll have some freedom to develop your own platform, one the next up-and-comer can avoid while you fade into the background.

In the end I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Huawei becomes the next mobile superpower, as its been clear for quiet some time now that the sun is setting on Samsung’s reign and that Apple is content to rest on its laurels and rake in the money. The problem for Huawei, however, is that like Samsung before it, it is firmly under the control of Google, who is likely trying its best to unseat the traitorous South Korean firm in favour of its new Android favourite. Huawei is best to remember though, that Google’s loyalty and friendship will only last so long.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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