With 73 million devices sold since their launch in 2010, Windows Phone sales have only represented a small drop in the 2.88 smartphones sold globally. However, there are those who believe that Microsoft’s software does have a bright future ahead of it in one particular market segment: the low end.
Vice president of Alcatel, Dan Dery, believes that Windows Phones could find success in the mobile market as entry-level devices. The Chinese mobile device manufacturer formed when Alcatel and Lucent decided on a joint venture, and specializes in smartphones costing way less than the worldwide average selling price of $314 (in fact, its smartphones cost under $200).
“Carriers from across the world have consistently told us that entry-level Windows Phones work, but not at the high end,”
Dery explained in an interview.
And it is not the high-end devices that are making the big bucks. Although there have been many Windows Phones models released in 2014 by HTC, Samsung, Huawei and Alcatel, it’s not the Nokia Lumia 930 or the 41-megapixel Lumia 1020 that bring in the money. Devices such as the entry-level Nokia Lumia 520 or other similar models are what have attracted the most customers, and according to Ad Duplex figures, it’s the Lumia 520 and 521 that make up approximately 35% of the installed base.
The most important feature of Windows Phone is that it can perform as well on low-power smartphones as it does on high-end devices (which can be a two way street, since it ends up diminishing the attraction of more expensive Windows Phones). However, it makes entry-level smartphones a real contender, in spite of their low price.
As opposed to low-end Windows Phones, low-end Android models struggle to even enter the ring, as they require much more powerful software to run smoothly. As such, Windows Phones have undercut competition on both price and solid features.
“We don’t know whether that’s because Windows Phone is very good for entry level smartphones, or because people have been looking to get a Nokia device at an affordable price,”
Microsoft purchased Nokia’s mobile phone division in September 2013, together with the Lumia brand, but not the Nokia name. Many saw the move as paving the way for Microsoft to be the sole competitor of other Windows Phone device manufacturers.
“We’re not interested in high-end devices – so Windows Phone producing a very, very good consumer experience at the entry level, which is not the case for other software, is a very interesting prospect,”