Simon Leung, Mr. Softy's chairman and CEO for the Greater China region, says his Windows phones will pass the Apple
"Our goal is No. 1," Leung said at this week's introduction of Windows Phone 7.5 in Beijing. "Having a goal to be No. 2 is not really a goal."
That's an audacious ambition for sure, though Leung never set a deadline for meeting any of these lofty targets. Keep in mind that Microsoft currently has exactly one Windows phone in the Chinese market: the big-screen HTC Eternity. All-in Microsoft partner Nokia
The Apple-crunching ambition may not be entirely crazy, because the iPhone has only a partial foothold in the Middle Kingdom. Apple's smartphone share in China is just 7.5% today, or one-third of Samsung's Android-powered army -- and shrinking. Along with the iPhone's unattainable prices, the iPhone isn't compatible with China Mobile's
But Android would be a tougher nut to crack. One mobile analyst in Beijing expects Windows Phone to eclipse iPhone with a 15% market share as soon as 2013, but he still sees Android holding a dominant 60% share by 2016.
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Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Google but holds no other position in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google, Microsoft, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Nokia, Google, China Mobile, Apple, and Microsoft and creating bull call spread positions in Apple and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.