Ina Fried

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Samsung, HTC Mum on Any Interest in Windows Phone Post-Nokia

Despite announcing plans to buy Nokia’s phone business, Microsoft still has hopes other phone makers will want to build Windows Phones.

As for whether the handset makers have any interest, we’ll have to wait and see.

Nokia already dominates the Windows Phone landscape, accounting for nearly eight in 10 Windows Phone sales. HTC and Samsung are the next two biggest players, though at various times, Huawei, Dell, LG and ZTE have also made Windows Phones.

Both HTC and Samsung were rendered nearly speechless after Microsoft announced its deal late Monday.

A Samsung representative said that, regarding the Microsoft-Nokia acquisition, its official statement is, “Decline to comment.”

That was essentially the same response that HTC gave AllThingsD on Tuesday.

“We are assessing the situation and have no comment at this time,” an HTC representative said.

Contrast this with what HTC CEO Peter Chou had to say back in February 2011, just after Microsoft announced its original Nokia deal.

“So we are positive, because this combination will surely make that ecosystem stronger,” Chou said, according to an Engadget report from the time.

HTC and Samsung continued to make Windows Phones even after Microsoft entered into its strategic partnership with Nokia, although it’s also fair to say that the two companies have been putting far more eggs in the Android basket.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is hoping to convince its partners to stay, promising that it won’t totally swallow the market by gobbling up Nokia.

In an interview, Windows Phone executive Joe Belfiore said that Microsoft has proven on the PC side of its business that it can work closely with its partners while keeping their business plans confidential. And, while all the talk Monday night was about how the Nokia-Microsoft deal would break down all the walls between hardware and software, Belfiore insisted that doesn’t mean there won’t be room for others.

“There’s certainly a wide, wide range of innovative things other companies [can do],” he said.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald