Google has today announced entry-level Android One devices with benefit of confirmed software update path and running on latest Android KitKat OS. The combo of sub-$100 pricing and direct affiliation to Google for updates will be the USP of these devices.
Now, Microsoft Mobile (ex-Nokia) is not going to lie low and take this assault, they are planning a counter-attack!! In an interview with ET, Chris Weber has revealed MS’s plans to push price points of Windows Phone devices much lower than those available in the market. The cheapest yet available Lumia in India, the Lumia 530 is priced officially 7199 ($117), but on other retailers one can have it for price of $100.
So, if Microsoft launches a Windows Phone at lower price point than this, then Google’s Android One may have some stiff competition, as in terms of software updates and performance, Windows Phone devices are well ahead of similar Android devices.
Over the next 12-18 months, Weber said, Microsoft will work on pushing the price points of Windows smartphones lower than those available in the market. At the same time, it will drive innovation in the affordable flagship area and combine design, software and services from Microsoft at the high-end, which will trickle down the portfolio.
Microsoft Mobile also plans to bring many super-affordable feature phones like, Nokia 130 which hits stores today for EUR 19 pricing, under the “First” category to target Billion first-time buyers in markets like India.
Jo Harlow, corporate vice president for phones at Microsoft, said that there are still a billion people globally who don’t have mobile devices and 2 billion who don’t have access to the Internet on mobile devices, which is what the company intends to target. “On the ‘First’ side, we will continue to introduce new devices – First Bing, First Internet devices, First mobile phone devices,” Harlow added.