According to Taiwanese website DigiTimes, Microsoft, Qualcomm and other chipset suppliers are collaborating to develop a Windows Phone 8 reference design that’s going to be used for entry-level and midrange devices (targeted at emerging markets, including, of course, China). These new entry-level WP8 handsets could be launched starting the second half of 2013.
Taiwan-based MediaTek (known for manufacturing inexpensive chipsets) might also join Microsoft’s efforts. MediaTek has already introduced cheap quad-core chipsets, but these have been designed for Android. The company is also experienced in making platforms for dual SIM handsets, so, who knows, maybe the future will bring us dual SIM WP8 devices.
Nokia’s Lumia 620 costs around $300, while Huawei’s Ascend W1 is priced at about $260. With the new WP8 reference design, Microsoft might want to go lower than $200. That would definitely allow it to compete with all the low-cost Android handsets that are flooding the market. Of course, it remains to be seen if we’re actually going to have sub-$200 Windows Phone 8 devices. We’ll let you know when new details about this arrive.
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