Nokia's Lumia 520 runs Windows Phone

The smart phone market’s ability to support more than three operating systems has taken a hit with the decision by China’s Huawei to close the door on devices running Windows Phone.

The word came out in an interview the head of the manufacturer ‘s consumer business group had with the Wall Street Journal. Huwaei is all but invisible in the U.S., and its handsets here are carried by Wind Mobile and Mobilicity. Not only is it abandoning WinPhone, Huawei wants nothing more to do with the fledgling Tizen operating system Samsung has been hoping will be an Android alternative.

As Ewan Spence noted on Forbes.com, this means that app developers have essentially given Android and Apple’s iOS an almost unassailable wall against competitors. That’s because whatever WinPhone’s technological advantages over competitors, the number of apps trumps everything.

It’s for this reason that BlackBerry found it necessary to ensure its BB10 operating system can handle Android apps, Spence pointed out. BlackBerry went one step further in June announcing it will close its consumer apps store this fall, shifting buyers to Amazon’s Android Appstore — although it has also added a WinPhone app to its BBM service.

Note also that WinPhone isn’t making much progress, according to the latest figures from IDC.

Did Huawei put another stake in the heart of WinPhone? Not in North America at any rate. But one wonders if we’ll see Lenovo or LG WinPhones here, or if they’ll be restricted to emerging markets.

It does mean more than ever that Microsoft has to do more to encourage developers to get on its platform.

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Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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