Microsoft continues to search for ways to make Windows Phone stand out against Android and iPhone as its competitors eat up the vast majority of phone sales. While Windows Phone devices were never too expensive to begin with, the company has made it clear the goal is to make cheaper Windows Phone devices compared to Android and iOS in order to attract customers in emerging markets like China.
While Mozilla has been hard at work pushing out its low-budget Firefox OS to emerging markets around the globe, Microsoft has spent much of its last four years with Windows Phone trying to compete in major European and U.S. markets against Android and iOS. This new focus appears to be an attempt by the software company to shift gears and target emerging markets like China and other regions much more strongly than before.
Compared to other devices on the market, Windows Phone devices are known for being much cheaper than iPhones, and relatively cheaper than Android devices of similar hardware and design. The reason for the price drop is to attract adoption to Windows Phone OS, which has had a difficult time attracting developers and new apps into its lackluster ecosystem. Microsoft is upping the ante though, and partnering with major chip manufacturer Qualcomm to attract new customers in growing markets by offering even cheaper phones than before with more budget-friendly prices that don’t require subsidies or other offers to get sales, much like the feature phones already on the market in those regions.
This news has also come with word by Mozilla of plans to build a $25 smartphone also for emerging markets. It’s quickly becoming clear that if OS builders like Mozilla and Microsoft cannot have the market share they desire for high-end smartphones in saturated regions like the United States, then they will go elsewhere to attract customers. Emerging markets in Eastern Europe, Central America, and Asia are growing rapidly and have yet to see major advances by smartphone manufacturers. It’s a matter of time now before they too become bloated and saturated.