*Update: Huawei just announced that it has partnered with Microsoft to launch a Windows Phone 8 device later this year. It will be Huawei's first smartphone running on the Windows Phone platform. Called the Huawei Ascend with Windows Phone 8, it is expected to be available in Europe, China and the U.S followed by other markets.
Huawei may join the ranks of Dell, HTC, LG, Nokia and Samsung in pushing out devices running on Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system (OS), with its first Windows Phone device rumored to be launched in Q4 2012.
According to Into Mobile, the information came from Ben Wood, an analyst with CCS Insight, who met with Huawei's Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in China last week. In his tweets, he mentioned that Huawei will be launching its first Windows Phone, the Ascend W1, in Q4 2012 with global availability in Q1 2013.
The Chinese company is also said to have assembled a team of 70 engineers to work on a pair of Windows Phone 8 devices. WPDang reported that one of the devices will be utilizing many of the components of an existing Android phone, which we believed is referring to the Ascend D Quad and D Quad XL launched at Mobile World Congress 2012. The other device will sport a new design with a screen size of over 4-inch.
Besides the pair of Windows Phone 8 devices, Huawei is also alleged to be working on a 4G LTE enabled Windows 8 tablet although it is not known whether the tablet will run on the x86 or ARM processor.
If rumors turn out to be true and Huawei jumps on board the Windows platform, it is likely to see Microsoft gain more traction in the highly competitive smartphone and tablet markets. As one of China's most successful home grown companies, Microsoft can leverage Huawei's expertise in offering competitive products with affordable price points, and reach in the world's biggest market to push Windows 8 to the mainstream consumers.