Following today’s announcements from Google, who is launching cheaper handsets in developing markets, Microsoft is keen to point out that its own low-end phone portfolio is robust and and its appeal is only increasing.
Talking to the Economic Times of India, Microsoft’s Chris Weber explained that the company is always looking to develop better and more affordable devices for developing markets. In fact Microsoft has an entire strategy put in place to do exactly that.
This strategy involves some aspects we’ve already heard about, such as dropping the Nokia branding, abandoning the Asha line, and focusing instead on the “First” line of devices, the entry level feature phones priced below $40.
At the same time Microsoft also wants to continue to push down prices and bring its own Windows Phone OS onto more affordable hardware. Weber explained:
We're just beginning a refresh of the entire portfolio. We aim to push the price point of Windows phones significantly lower - we certainly see that happening on the Android ecosystem - without impacting quality and experience.
The company is also looking at bringing “flagship features” to medium and low-end smartphones. The Lumia 830 is an example of this, where a great PureView camera experience was brought to a mid-range device.
Windows Phone has seen most of its success in the low-end of the market and there are lots of new OEMs also joining the platform for this segment. And it’s clear Microsoft has to do all it can if it wants its platform to succeed in this increasingly competitive environment.