How’d you like a dual-boot smart phone?
Why do I ask? It came up during an interview TrustedReviews published Thursday with Huawei’s chief marketing officer.
Put Android and Windows Phone on the same device and it makes it easier for buyers to get into WinPhone than choosing a smartphone that has only the Microsoft OS, he argued.
He didn’t say it, but the reasoning is to a buyer it’s less risky that way to buy a handset with an OS that still registers in single digit market share.
Look, life isn’t easy for smart phone makers.
The fact is only two of them have control over their futures – Apple and BlackBerry – because they control both the hardware and operating system. (And BlackBerry is slowly giving up control over its handsets with its recent deal with Foxconn.)
They are about to be joined by Microsoft once its takeover of Nokia is finalized
But the rest of the handset manufacturers – Samsung, Sony, LG, Huawei, HTC, Motorola (when it joins Lenovo), Kyocera etc. — are at the whim of the OS and its ecosystem.
That’s not a bad thing. After all, if you’re in the Android camp you’ve hitched up to the fastest growing OS, the biggest OS and the one with the biggest app store.
Still, only Samsung is making a profit.
So its not surprising that some makers are covering their bets by offering carriers handsets with a choice of operating systems, usually Android and Windows Phone. In fact some are seriously looking into other Linux-derived mobile operating systems like Ubuntu and Tizen. (BlackBerry? So far no one’s biting.)
For one thing, another OS gets them a step away from Google’s domination. For other, the fracturing of the Android OS isn’t good business.
Which is why eyes roll when someone mentions the idea of having dual-boot smart phones. As a writer on another site pointed out, you spend a lot of time customizing the interface of one OS and adding apps for it. Do the same for two?
One OS has business apps, the other personal. One OS is used here the other in a country you travel often to. One OS plays media better, the other is for the kids.
At the very least it will make one Huawei phone stand out from the other Android devices.
UPDATE: A week after news broke on this a Huawei official told Fierce Wireless that now there are no plans for dual-boot devices.