Yes, you read that correctly: Microsoft is to invest a whopping $2.3 billion to entice more manufacturers to the Windows Phone party in 2014.
Windows phone 8 in 2014 - Samsung 1.2 bln USD, Sony 0.5 bln, Huawei 0.6 bln, others - 0.3 bln. Thats "support" from MS to develop one (1!)hs— Eldar Murtazin (@eldarmurtazin) January 15, 2014
That's of course according to the Chief Editor of Mobile Review (a Russian website), Eldar Murtazin. While the source of this info is a little sketchy, apparently Samsung will win the lion's share of the bounty with $1.2 billion earmarked for new Windows Phones, while at the other end of the scale, current Microsoft partner HTC will have to settle for a portion of the $300 million put aside for "others." Murtazin said a month ago that Samsung would be getting around $1 billion in support from Microsoft.
Although HTC launched Windows Phone 8 devices alongside Nokia, it has failed to capture a large mindset among customers, and there have been several reports that HTC was planning to ditch Windows Phone altogether, which were later denied.
While there's no way to gauge the accuracy of Murtazin's claim without confirmation from Microsoft or one of its hardware partners, the company did reportedly invest more than $1 billion on smartphone research and development in 2010. Given Microsoft's increased emphasis on mobile going forward, it's possible the investment is accurate. At the same time, however, Nokia was getting about $1 billion a year from Microsoft, and it was an exclusive partner; Samsung getting more than that for simply developing more Windows Phone devices seems unlikely.
Microsoft is obviously taking an aggressive approach to capture even more marketshare after famously overtaking BlackBerry as the third smartphone ecosystem in 2013; and while the motivation will most certainly be welcomed by Samsung, Sony, Huawei and possibly others, we're guessing it will take a little longer to capture the second spot away from Apple.
Source: Eldar Murtazin (Twitter)