Redmond may still have a long way to go before it can claim victory in the smartphone race, but the last year or so has seen the Windows Phone platform gather up some serious momentum.

Market watchers have confirmed an increase in sales of Windows Phone smartphones, partners like Nokia have posted positive numbers for two quarters and even Microsoft has boasted that its mobile platform is registering immense growth — faster than Android in some select markets.

It is now doubly important now to keep up this momentum, and Microsoft is aware of this fact.

The technology titan (along with Nokia) seems to have outlined a strategy to tap into new markets. Both companies are now targeting the low-end segment, as Reuters details in a new report.

The Lumia 520 (known as the Lumia 521 in the United States, by the way) is cited as a perfect example of this new strategy — a tactic to bring higher quality devices to lower price points in order to make a mark in this important segment.

The low-end market is currently split between deluxe feature phones and cheap Android smartphones.

Microsoft and Nokia now plan on targeting this segment in a bid to outmaneuver the inexpensive Android devices, and convince users to hop on the Windows Phone platform.

And the best part is that this new strategy is already bearing some good results — markets like China, South America and India (along with other developing countries) are quick to adopt the inexpensive Windows Phone smartphones — largely owing to the excellent quality of the Lumia devices.

Importantly, it is not just the developing countries that are responding well to this new strategy.

The 4-inch Lumia 521 that recently launched in the United States at $150 has already sold out. The smartphone only launched at HSN, but is now scheduled to arrive at Walmart in the coming weeks.

Ultimately, both Microsoft and Nokia have traditionally relied on volume.

What this means is that both companies will feel right at home with this tactic of focusing and dominating the low-end segment of the market. If all goes according to plan, the Windows Phone story could take a radical turn for the better, by this time next year.

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