Redmond is reportedly making this move to better compete against the barrage of low-cost Android phones in the market.
There are countless OEMs developing Android phones, some are focusing solely on the low-end market and flooding it with cheap devices that try their best to offer a decent smartphone experience. If rumors are correct, Microsoft is now going after those customers.
The company’s new CEO Satya Nadella has already declared that Microsoft’s new strategy will place mobile first, and there have already been indications that the company is well on its way in this particular direction. Earlier in the week it announced nine new manufacturing partners that have committed to developing Windows Phone devices, a major addition to the previously rather small list of just four manufacturers. Once again its focus on emerging markets came into the spotlight, with manufacturers like China’s Huawei, ZTE, Gionee being added alongside India’s Karbonn Mobiles and Xolo.
To further entice more OEMs to jump on the WP bandwagon, rumor has it that Microsoft may cut Windows Phone licensing fees down by as much as 70 percent. Fees are said to range between $20-$30 at this point in time, the cut would effectively bring them down to $6-$10, giving a large number of small manufacturers to consider making Windows Phone devices. The entire premise behind this, which would certainly result in a significant dip in Microsoft’s licensing revenues, is to launch a much more effective offensive against Android phones.
While Microsoft hasn’t confirmed the fee cut, its focus on the low-end and mid-range segment is quite evident. Even the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update is bringing features that would appeal more to this particular market segment, such as dual-SIM support and ability to install apps on SD cards, thus enabling OEMs to ship phones with less memory.
Source: PC Mag