by Shane O'Neill

LG to Windows Phone: I’m Just Not That into You

Apr 30, 20122 mins
Computers and PeripheralsMobileOperating Systems

Device maker LG announced it is backing off Windows Phone to focus on Android. LG is hardly a mobile dynamo, but Microsoft better hope LG isn't setting a precedent for the more popular Windows Phone partners to follow.

LG has reportedly had enough of Windows Phones’ weak global sales.

The struggling device maker told the Korean Herald this week that Windows Phone devices are just not selling well enough in the global markets for LG to continue manufacturing WP devices.

Instead, LG will turn nearly all its focus on the Android platform. The company will “continue research and development efforts” on Windows Phones. But that just sounds like a euphemism for “we’re ditching it.”

Ok so this is not the end of the world for Microsoft. LG is not exactly a smartphone powerhouse. Its mobile business has lost money each quarter for almost the last two years, according to the Korea Herald.

However it’s still bad — even if it’s just bad PR — for Microsoft to lose a mobile partner, any mobile partner. These days, Microsoft needs to glean revenue from whatever Windows Phone devices it can. It could also leave a psychological scar because LG is an old friend of Microsoft’s mobile efforts. Back in the ’08 – ’09 timeframe, Microsoft and LG signed a mobile partnership where LG made Windows Mobile its main phone platform, and LG committed to manufacturing up to 26 Windows Phones for 2012.

But clearly, things have changed for LG, which was once the world’s number three phone manufacturer. The company’s efforts to build Windows Phones have hurt its bottom line. The solution: Bail on Windows Phone, go all in for Android.

Windows Phone is certainly not living and dying by LG. The platform will carry on with more popular partners like HTC, Nokia and No. 1 phone maker Samsung. This would be much more of a setback if it were Samsung dropping the Windows Phone OS. Yet Microsoft better hope the LG move doesn’t give Samsung any ideas.