Microsoft to launch $ 200 smartphones to boost Windows Phone
Microsoft’s vice president of OEM, Nick Parker, announced on Thursday the arrival of Windows Phone tablets and smartphones at less than $ 200. “Our 7, 8 and 10 inch products are going to fetch a very competitive price,” he said during Microsoft’s conference at Computex, Asia’s premier IT fair.
This strategy aims to gain market share against Android – offered free of charge to manufacturers of phones and tablets – and Apple. In 2013, phones running the Windows Phone mobile operating system accounted for only 3.2% of global sales, or 30.8 million units sold, compared to 78.4% for Android, or more than 758.7 million units sold according to a Gartner study.
With handsets less than 200 euros, Microsoft – and Nokia, recently renamed Microsoft Mobile – approaches the strategy of Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi, which markets entry-level terminals from $ 100. In 2014, Xiaomi increased its production targets by 50%, with 60 million units produced, even if it is still very strongly focused on emerging economies.
To speed up, Microsoft’s OS was made available to manufacturers free of charge for handsets smaller than 9 inches, in order to compete with Android, and to be remunerated on the sale of applications. To make its mobile business profitable, Microsoft is counting on the sale of applications and services, especially since the launch of Office365, which allows the use of the Office suite in the cloud with a monthly subscription.