More Local Manufacturers Adopt Windows Phone

Q-Mobile Debuts Five New Devices


The global market share of Microsoft’s Windows Phone is below 4 percent, but it’s been successful in some developing markets thanks to strong brand-building. This includes Vietnam, where about one quarter of smartphones shipped run Windows Phone.

Larger smartphone makers such as Nokia have driven the success of Windows Phone in these developing markets. Microsoft’s announcement in April that it will offer Windows Phone royalty-free to device manufacturers is attracting small, local players who could push the platform deeper into these regions. It was a bold decision by Microsoft, and a clear acknowledgement of the struggles Windows Phone has to overcome to gain any real traction. It’s been only a few months since Microsoft’s strategy change, but new Windows Phone devices are already hitting the market.

Q-Mobile, a Vietnamese handset maker, just announced five new Windows Phone devices ranging from $100 to $190 and that all run on a Qualcomm quad-core 1.2 GHz processor. These devices include the Storm W610, with a six-inch HD display, 8GB of internal storage, an eight-megapixel rear-facing camera, a two-megapixel front-facing camera and a microSD slot. This is a high-end smartphone at a competitive price.

In June, Indian handset maker Micromax also announced a line of Windows Phone devices. It’s another local manufacturer adopting Microsoft’s royalty-free platform, and fellow Indian brand Karbonn has now been listed as a Microsoft Windows Phone partner.

Local brands like Q-Mobile and Micromax have the potential to drive Windows Phone devices to lower prices in their markets, providing some competition against Android-based phones. The current momentum of Chinese handset makers such as Coolpad and Xiaomi is already pushing higher-end Android smartphones to lower price bands, and Microsoft is making the right moves to emulate this in working with local brands. It needs big, it needs small. To bump up its market share, it needs it all.