While revealing that the next iteration of Windows Phone
(likely version 8.1 - although this wasn’t specified) will be available "this spring", Microsoft today also announced new WP hardware partners. The two most important new partners are Lenovo and LG, which are currently the world’s fourth and fifth largest smartphone makers, respectively.
At the moment, LG and Lenovo are selling only Android handsets, and it will be interesting to see what Windows Phone devices they are planning to offer. As you may remember, LG released several Windows Phone 7 handsets back in 2010, but abandoned Microsoft’s mobile platform after WP8 was introduced.
Other new Windows Phone hardware partners include: Foxconn, Gionee, JSR, Longcheer, and India’s Lava (Xolo) and Karbonn. These manufacturers are joining Nokia (which will be a Microsoft company as soon as its acquisition is completed), Samsung, HTC, Huawei and ZTE - all five have already launched WP devices, although ZTE only made WP7 products.
According to Microsoft, we should see "an incredible new range of devices across screen sizes and price points." Most likely, all the new hardware partners will release Windows Phone devices after the 8.1 update rolls-out to existing phones, meaning as soon as this spring.