Microsoft: Smartphone prices to be cut in half in 2012

If you have really wanted to buy some kind of mobile smartphone but think that the prices are just too high compared to a regular mobile phone, the head of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 division says that prices will be going down by as much as half by 2012. Currently the average price of smartphones are around $200 (with a new two year contract). In a speech today at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference, Windows Phone president Andrew Lees predicted that by the end of 2012, " ... a smartphone that can run something like Windows Phone 7 will actually be down to $100 to $150. So, you're seeing a dramatic price reduction."

Lees also talked about having "a unified ecosystem" for PCs, tablets and smartphones, saying, "We are aiming to provide coherence and consistency across the PC, the phone, and the TV, particularly with Xbox. That's through providing new types of scenarios, things like the way in which we make the user experience more common ..."

However don't expect a version of Windows Phone 7 to show up on any tablets like Android and WebOS have done. Lees states, "We view a tablet as a sort of PC. We want people to be able to do the sorts of things that they expect on a PC on a tablet, things like networking to be able to connect to networks, and utilize networking tools, to get USB drives and plot them into the tablet." The Build conference in September will see Microsoft reveal more about how it will combine the best of the PC and the tablet.

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