In terms of the overall smartphone market, Windows Phone holds only a tiny fraction of the world’s market share. Android and iOS continue to dominate smartphone shipments, as Apple’s brand continues to draw customers in mature markets and Samsung floods the world with smartphones of all prices and sizes.
Microsoft did see a glimmer of hope recently in the U.S. market, where Windows Phone has now surpassed BlackBerry OS. Even so, signs point to slowing smartphone market growth, meaning that the game might end before Microsoft makes much of an impact with Windows Phone. That means emerging markets are the last best hope for Microsoft’s huge investment in mobile.
A DigiTimes report today shows, though, that Microsoft may have picked up a few emerging market victories lately. The report’s unnamed “industry sources” claim that certain Chinese and Indian smartphone brands have recently begun to embrace Windows Phone. According to the report Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, Gionee, Lava, and Karbonn could release Windows Phone devices at some point, including a possible dual OS device.
This shift towards Windows Phone reportedly happened due to the more entry-level-friendly policies Microsoft has adopted recently. According to DigiTimes the company has lowered the hardware specs for the Windows Phone platform and provided reference designs, making it easier for emerging market manufacturers to embrace the OS. Microsoft has also reportedly eased licensing restrictions for the OS allowing for manufacturers to develop software that might run on top of Windows Phone the way Android is currently used.