Microsoft targets cheaper phones to tap global Internet growth

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Feb 24, 2014 - 19:38
  • Updated : Feb 24, 2014 - 19:38
A Nokia Oyj Lumia Icon smartphone sits on display at a Microsoft news conference. (Bloomberg)

Microsoft Corp., under new Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, will accelerate a push into mobile software, joining forces with hardware manufacturers and Qualcomm Inc. to develop cheaper phones for emerging markets.

Microsoft said Sunday it’s working with Qualcomm on a low-cost phone design that developers and handset makers can use to build their own devices, and added partners including Lenovo Group Ltd. to make Windows smartphones. Nokia Oyj, whose mobile-phone business will become part of Microsoft, is set to unveil new lower-priced handsets Monday.

Trailing Apple Inc. and Google Inc. in more sophisticated devices, Microsoft is now trying to build market share for its Windows operating system from the bottom up. Cheaper smartphones mean consumers in less-developed countries will have a chance to use the Internet for the first time, a fast-growing market that’s also attracting rivals such as Google, maker of the Android operating system.

“Microsoft can be more healthy by widening our ecosystem,” Joe Belfiore, a Microsoft vice president, said in an interview at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. “We care a ton about emerging markets.” (Bloomberg)