As Chinese phone maker ZTE tries to gain ground in the U.S., it will be looking to expand its product offerings beyond Google’s Android platform. The prime selection in this effort is said to be Microsoft’s Windows Phone, as ZTE USA’s CEO Lixin Cheng gave his opinion on the current hierarchy of mobile operating systems and his thoughts may be somewhat surprising to some. “In my personal experience, the iPhone, of course, has a well-polished user interface experience,” Cheng told CNET. “And then Windows, and then Android.”
As it stands the bulk of ZTE’s smartphones are Android devices. Currently packing the international duo of the ZTE Orbit and ZTE Tania as its Windows Phone roster, Cheng plans on releasing the latter in the U.S. later this year. So, if ZTE USA’s CEO is so sweet on Microsoft’s mobile platform, what’s been the hold up? During Windows Phone’s early stages, Microsoft had very restrictive hardware requirements, which drastically limited the number of OEMs that the company could partner with. This was due to the focus on high-end components, which didn’t coincide with ZTE’s strategy to produce inexpensive handsets.
“The prices of products aren’t decided by what you do as a company,” Cheng said. “It’s more decided on the competition and the market.”
As market conditions changed and companies such as Nokia saw success with more affordable product offerings, Microsoft elected to relax its restrictions, which has given ZTE an opportunity to place a greater focus on producing Windows Phone. “Fundamentally, for the health of the ecosystem and industry,” Cheng said, “we need a third operating system.” As 2012 reaches its mid-point, it will definitely be interesting to see exactly how diverse ZTE’s product offerings look by the end of the year.