Microsoft is reportedly making a strong push towards the lower spectrum of the smartphone market with cheap handsets by licensing the Windows Phone operating system to Indian manufacturers for free.
Indian and Chinese OEMs were announced as new Windows Phone partners during the Mobile World Congress 2014 by Microsoft. Now, according to a report from the Times of India, some of the Indian manufacturers who were contacted about their Windows Phone plans have confirmed that they have not paid licensing fees to Microsoft. An executive for one of the Indian OEMs said that, "For our planned Windows Phone handsets, we are not paying Microsoft a licence fee. The company is obviously exploring new models for Windows Phone. It must have realized that the older model where it licenced the OS did not work out well, even with Nokia's support."
India is one of the fastest growing smartphone markets, and is expected to continue growing throughout 2014 according to latest numbers from IDC. For Microsoft, tapping the potential of Indian customers has proven beneficial as entry-level Lumia 520 boosted the Windows Phone platform to number two in the country. With local OEMs getting the special favour, Microsoft can finally push the price of Windows Phone handsets even lower to compete with cheap Android devices.
Microsoft declined to comment on the report but said that, "We have extensive programmes to help our partners build great devices. Our licensing model allows us to partner with OEMs across the world."
Source: Times of India