Microsoft hints at affordable smartphones running Windows Phone to land next year

Microsoft hints at affordable smartphones running Windows Phone to land next year
At a glance, this news seems too good to be true, but Microsoft may be really getting ready to introduce at least one very affordable smartphone running Windows Phone at some point in 2012. For those of you who are reading these lines with a skeptical look on their faces we have to clarify that it isn't a rumor that we are dealing with here – it was Andrew Lees, president of Windows Phone division at Microsoft, who spilled the beans while speaking at WPC yesterday.

So, how cheap would such a smartphone be you may ask. Well, it is probably too early to know for sure, but it was said that a Windows Phone handset retailing at around $100 on contract might hit the market next year. The main reason for the substantial price drop, according to Mr. Lees, is that smartphone hardware production costs are dropping due to the advancements in system-on-a-chip (SoC) hardware engineering where all the components needed to run a platform are hosted on a single piece of silicon.

Well, even if the $100 WP smartphone becomes reality, would it be capable of delivering an experience on par with what one would expect out of a contemporary handset? The answer to this question is anybody's guess at this moment, but something tells us that more than a few compromises will need to be done while designing such a smartphone. What do you think?

source: Microsoft via Geek.com

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10 Comments

1. maxim unregistered

i think it will be a real fight between Android and Microsoft just like Microsoft vs Linux

2. Dj21o

Posts: 437; Member since: May 19, 2011

Does this mean the phones that they showed yesterday wont be released until AFTER the holidays? If so, that really sucks. :(

3. Marton unregistered

Wow, now that's news. In Hungary, you can buy Omnia 7 (sporting WP7, of course) on contract for 80$. (Yea, you'll pay a monthly ~90$ for the data plan and what not for 2 years, but still.) Besides, I am a bit worried that WP will 'cheapen' this way - there is a reason why premium products cannot be purchased on low prices. How do you see this?

4. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

I think this is probably a good move as more users are adopting smartphones, but I think people who are thinking about getting smartphones for the first time are more worried about signing up for data on 2 year contracts than the one hundred or two hundred dollars that they would be paying up front. Well at least I know that was true for my family. On a second point, I picked up my HTC Trophy for Verizon last week from the Microsoft online store for one cent as an upgrade, so I would expect that $100 phone next year to be on par with higher end phones now (4G maybe, latest gen single core processor, 8mp camera)... Look forward to seeing what kinds of goodies they can integrate onto one piece of silicon!

5. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Hey Microsoft- please just remember- there is a HUGE difference between affordable (LG Optimus series) and cheap (Motorola Citrus, Samsung Dart).

7. jtech

Posts: 101; Member since: Jul 14, 2011

That's good news, maybe they will also release wp7 powered phone for the people that don't want to be tied down to a contract

8. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

I don't know about that; I think that is more the choice of the carrier. WP7 relies so much on data for its useful features, such as live tiles, e-mail, apps, etc. Although Wi-Fi only would probably suffice for a decent number of people, a carrier would not even allow that possibility to enter the minds of consumers. Pretty soon the consumers would open their eyes and demand that mandatory data fees be removed from all smartphones.

9. Forsaken77

Posts: 553; Member since: Jun 09, 2011

The HTC Inspire 4G for AT&T came out at $99 w/a 2yr contract. And this is a high end phone. It's on the low-end of "high-end" but $99 rite from launch is a great deal.

10. pipo unregistered

All wp7 phones today on sale today are already "affordable". They're dumbed at ridiculous low prices because nobody wants them. Yet the "industry" keeps shoving them down our throats. Most of them can be had for less than 350 euro's while most other simialer specced smartphones come in the region of 400 euro's.

12. DJRipster unregistered

Just something I wanted to point out. The original article says $100, it doesnt mention a contract... Windows Phones are available on contract for less than $100 at times right ?

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