It’s no secret that so much of Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) strategy going forward rests on accelerated adoption of Windows Phone in the next year or two. With a share of the smart phone market in the U.S. hovering around 3.5% they certainly have their work cut out for them there, but in the rest of the world where smart phone adoption rates are both lower and more fluid there is a tremendous opportunity for Microsoft and its OEMs to grab new users with their latest offerings. So, it is a major win for them to announce that Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) Lumia 920 will be available on China’s biggest carrier, China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) in the third week of December.
China Mobile’s unique implementation of CDMA has held Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) back from getting the iPhone on the network and every day that a deal is not announced between the two behemoths the larger the opportunity opens up for Microsoft and its partners. Even though Nokia has a bunch of brand cache in China and Symbian still has good market share, it will be the Chinese manufacturers that will make or break Windows Phone in China. Huawei, ZTE and especially Lenovo, who is all-in on Windows 8 tablets and PCs, carry a lot of weight with Chinese consumers. Lenovo is still uncommitted to Windows Phone in China, but they understand the power they wield.
At their launch party today for their latest Optimus Android phones, LG’s CEO all but ruled out making any smart phones other than those running Android, saying that “they have no specific plans at this time.”
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