What Will Windows Phone 8 Mean For Budget Handsets?

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If a big part of the reason Microsoft isn’t bringing Windows Phone 8 to existing handsets is that they don’t have the hardware to pull it off, what does that mean for the future of lower-end, budget-priced models on the platform? Will the new hardware requirements leave manufactures unable to deliver the WP8 equivalent of devices like the Lumia 610? Microsoft doesn’t think so, and senior product manager Greg Sullivan recently explained why in an interview.

Sullivan points out that Microsoft will continue to support Windows Phone 7.8, which will keep on working with 256MB RAM handsets. That’s fair, but it’s hardly the same as new WP8 hardware that’s still positioned to be as affordable as possible.

To that end, Sullivan suggests that WP8 could actually present manufacturers with new avenues for cutting costs. The coming support for removable microSD cards (even if we won’t be loading apps to them) means that companies will have the option to skimp on internal flash storage, and offload more storage costs to end users though the freedom to install larger cards. We have to wonder just how much savings might be found there, though, as flash costs are pretty dirt-cheap, and only getting cheaper.

We also wonder what Sullivan’s comments about WP7.8 mean for the chances of seeing new hardware arriving for it even after WP8’s out. Could some manufacturers continue releasing new 256MB models for developing nations? We’d have thought it unlikely before, but Sullivan’s got us thinking twice now.

Source: Know Your Mobile

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!