Zhang Guangqiang, VP of Coolpad (R&D division)
News came over the weekend that Coolpad, a Chinese phone manufacturer, will probably join the Windows Phone rank, to sit beside more internationally renowned folks like Huawei and ZTE.
In what seems to be an official news release, Zhang Guangqiang, a VP of the company, revealed that they are aiming to release the first Windows Phone device in the first half of 2013. That’s an awfully long time away, and Zhang doesn’t seem to be totally serious about it (just one casual mention), so let’s file it under rumors for the time being.
Coolpad is a Chinese phone manufacturer who has risen to power in recent years. It’s sort of “regionally visible”, especially big in China, but not quite so elsewhere. The company was first established in 1993, spending the first decade mostly on making pagers and providing call center solutions. In 2003 it broke into the mobile phone game, initially powered by SoC provided by MediaTek (MTK), i.e. the technical architecture behind almost all of what’s called “KIRF” (Keeping It Real Fake) in Engadget’s vocabulary. The company worked for a while on Windows Mobile afterward, before finally settling on Android.
Taking advantage of MTK’s turn-key solutions, Coolpad was able to churn out one model after another at amazing speed and budget price. According to the news release, the company has released over 100 models of Android phones in 2 years, a portion of them priced under 1,000 Chinese Yuan (159 US$), and its standard for “premium range” seems to be 3,000 CNY (476 US$). To compare prices, the Lumia 800 is now in China and sold for a bit lower than 3,000 CNY, while the Pureview 808 sits over 4,000. Speed and price are Coolpad’s primary weapons in the competition.
In july, WPDang reported that Oppo, a Chinese phone manufacturer who is quite close to Coolpad in nature, was contacting Microsoft about the possibility of adopting Windows Phone too. If all true, these guys will create strong competition for Nokia. Previously we reported that the Finnish giant practically owns the Chinese Windows Phone market with a market share of 76%, the spearhead being Lumia 610. Those fast opponents in the budget device segment have the potential to change the game.