Is there no escape from the constant dramas surrounding Qihoo 360 (NYSE:QIHU - News) and its CEO Zhou Hongyi? They are again in the news, as Qihoo and Huawei (SHE:002502) have gone their separate ways after a previous low-cost smartphone partnership didn’t work out. This is according to Marbridge Daily, who quotes Huawei senior VP Richard Yu’s microblog update:
Our product costs are slightly higher because of this, so we are unable to meet CEO Zhou Hongyi’s demands for lower prices. The Huawei Ascend will go on sale September 6 exclusively through Huawei, and will not be one of the Qihoo 360 handsets.
When we first heard about this el-cheapo collaboration between Huawei and Qihoo 360, my colleague Charlie expressed some skepticism whether such a smartphone could generate as much buzz as, for example, Xiaomi has. Turns out it didn't really even get much of a chance to get off the ground.
Since then Qihoo’s motivation for wanting a piece of the smartphone business has become a little clearer, having parachuted into the China search wars practically overnight. Like China’s leading search company Baidu, who just announced new aspects of its mobile strategy, Qihoo could use a foothold in mobile too if it's serious about search.
Marbridge mentions that there have been over 100,000 Qihoo handsets sold in total, with the Haier Battleship phone accounting for more than half. Lets wait and see if that ship can float longer than the Huawei one did.