As both Microsoft and Nokia’s Mobile World Congress events have concluded, without a single fresh Windows Phone 8-running device being announced, it’d be logical to presume the platform is in trouble. Deep, deep trouble.
But maybe it isn’t. Sure, Nokia just took the wraps off its first ever handhelds powered by Android, the X, X+ and XL. And Samsung looks more committed than ever to Google’s mobile OS. Worst case scenario, they’ll diversify with Tizen gadgets.
Yet it’s still not game over for WP8. Not with Windows Phone 8.1 on the horizon, and nine, count’em nine new hardware partners. The names were made public at MWC, exactly to prove there is a future for possibly the only real Android/iOS rival.
Technically, you can’t call all nine OEMs new MS partners. LG, for instance, rolled out a couple Windows Mobile-based phones back in the day. Also, Xolo broadcasted its WP8 interest months ago. But when brought together, LG, Xolo, Lenovo, Foxconn, Gionee, Longcheer, JSR, Karbonn and ZTE make for a rich, diverse and dangerous roster of Google competitors.
Meanwhile, Samsung, HTC, Huawei and Nokia are apparently involved in future developments of the ecosystem too, although it’s been rumored the first two are looking to take a step back. As for when you should expect actual Windows Phones from the “magnificent nine”, it could be anytime from next month to next year.
Bottom line, the sense of doubt is in the air, but for once, it’s mixed with optimism.