One of the many reasons that Android appears to be eating the world is that the platform is flexible enough to be on the super high-end handsets like the Galaxy Nexus as well as entry-level devices like the ZTE Warp. Microsoft said it expects the cost of manufacturing Windows Phone to essentially cut in half next year, giving the platform a wider potential audience.
Andy Lees, head of the Windows Phone division, told Bloomberg in an interview that the cost of making a Windows Phone is currently about $400 but it is hoping to get that down to about $200 by next year. It should be made clear that that figure is the manufacturing cost, as handset makers and carriers determine the retail pricing. Microsoft has been working with Qualcomm to get that manufacturing down and Qualcomm can play a major role in this, as it’s currently the only mobile processor that can run Windows Phone and there are currently no plans to work with other chip makers on the platform.
Nokia is all set to introduce multiple Windows Phone handsets at next week’s Nokia World in London and being able to produce these handsets in volume at a reasonable price will be very important. While many of us IntoMobile readers only want the high-end handsets, there is a booming market for mid-level or entry-level smartphones around the world. Microsoft has also reportedly been working on Windows Phone Tango to better target these emerging markets.
You might consider some of these cheaper devices underpowered and they are if you’re comparing it against the latest dual-core, 12-megapixel smartphone but I believe that a 1 GHz Windows Phone with a 5-megapixel camera and all the necessary sensors could still be quite a compelling product in 2012, especially if it lands at a cheap price.