It would appear that Microsoft has relaxed their hardware requirements (on September 23rd) to exclude the camera as a necessity. This would allow lower-end handsets to be brought out at a more affordable price, something we know Nokia wish to do. In fact, these changes are already here. We already know the Lumia 800 has neither a front facing camera nor gyro and the HTC Radar has no compass or gyro on board.

Check out the revised hardware requirements below:

Standard Hardware

  • A common set of hardware controls and buttons that include the Start, Search, and Back buttons.
  • A large WVGA (800 x 480) format display capable of rendering most web content in full-page width and displaying movies in widescreen.
  • Capacitive 4-point multi-touch screens for quick, simple control of the phone and its features.
  • Support for data connectivity using cellular networks and Wi-Fi.
  • 256 MB (or more) of RAM and 8 GB (or more) of flash storage.
  • A-GPS
  • Accelerometer 

Optional Hardware

  • Compass
  • Gyro
  • Primary Camera
  • Front-facing Camera

Source: MSDN, via: @manan, Mobility Digest