In what is shaping up to be a head to head battle with Samsung, Nokia has said it will “very quickly” manufacture bottom end low-cost Windows Phone 7 handsets. The announcement comes only days after Samsung said they that they are set to target the entry level market with “not for profit” phones in an effort to build market share.
Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop said that the ability of Nokia to quickly bring a cheap handset to market was a key topic in its discussions with Microsoft.
The strategy will give Microsoft numbers while allowing Nokia to hold onto their fading bottom end market share, say analysts, who believe that it will spark a bitter price war between Samsung and Nokia.
Elop said: “We have become convinced that we can [reach the low price point] very quickly.”
During its press conference at Mobile World Congress, Nokia said it hoped to have its first Windows Phone device on sale by the end of 2011 – but this latest revelation suggests an earlier release could be on the cards.
Given Microsoft’s stringent minimum hardware specifications for its mobile OS, it remains to be seen if Nokia will get special dispensation in order to bring costs down, or whether it is relying on falling component pricing.