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Nokia pushing down costs on Windows Phone; Microsoft going beyond Qualcomm

The Nokia-Microsoft partnership is still dominating headlines this morning as more information keeps coming out. Evidently, during negotiations with Microsoft, one of the critical issues Nokia was focused on was reaching "a very low price point", according to Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, this position was agreed upon:

"We have become convinced that we can do that very quickly"

As we mentioned earlier, Nokia produces nearly 1 million phones a day due to their huge infrastructure and production lines. With Microsoft tapping into that, it seems easier for them to lower prices on phones to the carriers--something that smaller OEMs might not be able to match. Either way, consumers look to win.

One method of doing this is going beyond Qualcomm for their chipsets. Qualcomm was named by Microsoft as their primary chip provider for Windows Phone, but now we're getting news that Microsoft is looking beyond the company for other alternatives (NVIDIA , Texas Instruments, ST-Ericsson and Ericsson come to mind). That should be especially good for Nokia who have had a rocky relationship with Qualcomm, with the latter owning the CDMA market (even though both agreed to work together last year).

Looks like there will be lots of changes to the Windows Phone landscape come late 2011 as fallout form the Nokia partnership continues.

Source: Reuters, the Inquirer.net; additional info: IntoMobile

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Reader comments

Nokia pushing down costs on Windows Phone; Microsoft going beyond Qualcomm

9 Comments

I had wondered about this.......For one..I think we're going to have inevitable fragmentation. Not necessarily in compatibility...but definitely performance. I believe Microsoft can provide a core experience with the OS that is exceptional. But eventually the performance of some games and apps may deteriorate on the lower end...even if they're compatible from an OS standpoint. I just hope that Microsoft keeps pace with Android from a hardware standpoint. This is/isn't surprising to me. Nvidia just kind of exploded with the Tegra 2......and Microsoft used the Tegra 1 in the Zune HD. I don't personally know what sort of engineering choices have to be made...but Microsoft had been talking about the positives of strict standards. But also, it must have pained Samsung to have to put Qualcomm chips into it's Focus and Omnia 7 hardware as traditionally on Android, Samsung has used its own chips.

That's why MS sets the base hardware req, if a game runs good on the base hardware current phones have then it'll run fine on any future ones, even if they're cheaper/smaller. Zine of the phone =/= performance. ARM cpu's are getting smaller so with being able to mix and match from different hardware makers and not just qualcomm that brings costs down either way. That and volume, Nokia brings the volume which also drives down costs since the SoC makers will fight for contracts now.Fragmentation on the hardware side will happen, sure, like it does with PC games, but it shouldn't happen anywhere near as fast. Maybe by the 3rd batch of phones we'll start to see it depending on what MS does with SL and XNA feature wise. Devs like to play with more power but if they test and then have different game settings for lower end hardware vs higher end (like PC games do) then it's fine. It's a bit more work to do sure but it's not like a dev can't.

The only thing I do not want to see is what happened to my iPhone 3G in less than 2 years...become a complete POS. Even the core functions of the phone were compromised by iOS4. Games...ok I can understand that new games want to take advantage of new hardware and OS features. However, when I go into the stock Google Maps app and can't even type the first letter in the search field in less than 30 seconds something is very wrong. As MS updates WP7 they need to keep the core experience for all phones. If they need to update the OS to the point where original WP7 phones can't handle it, they should roll it out as WP8 and not give it to WP7 users so they can at least still have a usable phone with the original performance.

They might still offer WP8 to WP7 owners though, for a price, and MS does have a track record of keeping with backwords compatibility. I guess only time will tell, and they'd have to add a good chunk of new stuff in 8 compared to whatever the last 7.x update is to make me buy a whole new phone if I can't upgrade it.I paid full price for this thing, I'm not going to change it anytime soon.

i think this is a good thing...Hopin to see new wp7 phones with processors raging from 600mhz to 1.2ghz dual-core by autumn.. Being able to choose is the most important thing!! And yes, the experience from 600 to 1.2x2 will be with some similarities and some differences but again thats how life is!! And thats good..And that, in my opp, should've been there from the start, along with some of the other stuff from winmobile...Maybe MS will finally realize that people prefer and like more ANDRO than them APPLEZ...

The Chip that ST-Ericsson are claiming they making for Nokia the U8500, it is way better than anything currently in WP's.Its on par with Dual-core snapdragons and in some areas it even better's it.I would not worry about, do not get brainwashed by the Android Media where they think chips with pretty names are better.

I'm not super familiar with Nokia's hardware, but haven't they typically, of late anyways, used lower end processors compared to what the markets been trending towards?Also....I think it'd be brilliant of Microsoft to open it up to other chips, it may create a similar chip race to Android, as a way for manufacturers to differentiate and compete. The users will Win. And man, did you see the demo specs for the Tegra 3? It was off the chain.

One of the biggest strengths of the Windows platform is the unity devices share. It's the one big advantage the platform has over Android, as every phone can run a game of application the same if you build it on the minimal specs every phone has.This? This is going to create fragmentation.Obviously the required specifications will have to be bumped up over time. It's inevitable. I just hope we don't start seeing phones from the same time period including all sorts of random chipsets. That's be a major blow to Microsoft's largest advantage in this market.

Windows Phone dominates Android by the so many phones, and they all has run an application properly. No matter which phone. Unlike Android, some apps cant run with some phones. Big FAIL right here for Android, ups for Windows Phone.Microsoft has a big advantage, and I'm sure it can tropple over Google's Android.iOS? It'll take a while, probably never to conquer.