Think $100 and lower. Microsoft has been slowly charting its budget hardware strategy. In fact, it has been a couple of years since the company announced enhanced focus on affordable smartphones.
The idea is to offer enticing devices for emerging markets — while competing with Android along the way in these countries. This rethink is now starting to bring results.
However, while Windows Phone has increased its market share in the past few months, and a handful of new hardware partners have launched new handsets, the platform is still a league (or two) behind iOS and Android powered devices.
One way Redmond plans to tackle this little problem is to offer premium features on affordable, midrange or low end devices. Premium features that are exclusive to more expensive smartphones.
And as Microsoft Mobile managing director for India said in a new interview, the technology giant is ready to follow this plan. It is now working to bring these premium features on Windows Phone devices that are priced $100 or lower.
Specific details of this plan are under wraps, for obvious reasons.
But it is surely not the first time Microsoft has toyed with this idea. The PureView camera on the recently announced Lumia 830 is one of the more prominent examples.
The million dollar question remains, though.
Will these premium features really make a big enough difference this time around? And what about the higher end, expensive handsets? Will they lose some of their allure this way? Can Microsoft really afford that on the mobile front? Or is it just inevitability?