Chinese handset maker ZTE has publicly stated that while they do have prototypes in their labs running Windows Phone 7, they don’t have any plans on launching devices running Microsoft’s new mobile operating system because there’s currently no demand for them, and Microsoft’s efforts to get the word out about the platform haven’t been enough. It’s a huge blow since ZTE is the world’s 5th largest handset maker. You may not be familiar with their work since they have a strong reputation as an original design manufacturer, meaning they make handsets that they then sell to operators who slap their own logo on the front. That’s due to change going forward as ZTE, just like their closest competitor Huawei, plan on making their brand internationally recognized. It’s entirely possible since HTC used to be in a similar spot just a few years ago, making devices for the likes of AT&T and Verizon in America and nearly everyone in Europe, but without putting their brand anywhere on the exterior of said handsets.
The world seems to be waiting to see what Microsoft and Nokia are going to do together, because if the two old world regimes manage to create something wonderful then everyone will be onboard to build a Windows Phone device. Nokia has admitted that they’ve already started working on Windows Phone handsets, and that their goal is to get one out by the end of this year, but it’s more likely that we’ll have to wait until 2012 to see the fruits of their American-Finnish effort. In the mean time Android is quickly ramping up to become the world’s most popular mobile OS and Apple is laughing their way to the bank as they make money hand over fist on every iPhone they sell. Rumors of a cheaper iPhone should have the mobile industry shaking in their boots right about now.