Friday, September 19, 2014

Move Over iPhone 6, Android One Is A More Serious Threat (In The Low-Cost Market)

When it comes to smartphone operating systems there are really only two big names, Android and iOS (but there is a company that rents them all). I mean, there are others, but they have yet to hit the popularity and esteem of these two. One such operating system is that of Windows Phone. While Windows Phones aren't necessarily bad devices, they simply have had a rough time surpassing Android and iOS devices. Unfortunately for Windows Phone things don't look to be getting any easier. Even though Apple has released the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus its Android that Windows Phone should really be fearing.

Google's Android One project could very well be the final nail in the coffin for Windows Phone, making sure that these devices never become a serious threat to the smartphone market. Apple's newest devices are high-end phones with high-end prices, as usual. The iPhone 6 comes in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB varieties that run $199, $299 and $399, respectively. The iPhone 6 Plus comes with the same three versions with $299, $399 and $499 price tags. 

These numbers make Microsoft extremely happy as the company as all but given up on high-end smartphones. As a result, Microsoft is starting to target consumers that are a little more careful with their money and ones who aren't necessarily willing to for over that kind of cash for a smartphone. The flagship of this new business model is the company's Lumia 830 Windows Phone which comes with a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a 5" screen. 

Corporate Vice President of Mobile Device Sales at Microsoft Chris Weber was quoted recently at the IFA Electronics Show in Berlin stating that the new marketing strategy for Windows Phone would be pricing. "We're going to challenge Apple and Samsung and expose the premium they are charging for a phone," Weber stated. 

That's the precise reason Microsoft should be worried about Android One. Android One is a project from Google that is designed to reduce the cost of Android phones. The company's target is the developing world, where Nokia used to have a very large presence and where Microsoft is hoping to use the Nokia name to grab a market share with low-cost Windows Phones. 

Google, on the other hand, is making it very easy for phone manufacturers to produce low-cost phones that will run stock Android without any modifications. To make matters worse for Microsoft, Google has already lined up Acer, Alcatel OneTouch, Asus, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic and Xolo along with chipmaker Qualcomm. Android One will launch first in India and then make its way to Indonesia, the Philippines and other South Asian countries by the end of this year. 

Google currently owns nearly 80% of the world's smartphone market. The biggest of these new markets are in developing countries, which is where Windows Phone needs to increase its profits. However, with Android One on the prowl it's unlikely that Microsoft will be able to make a dent in the market. While everyone is gawking at the new iPhones from Apple, Microsoft will be sweating bullets over Google's low-cost Android One phones.

Did I mention a company that rents all of the major operating systems?
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