Although Microsoft will sell its own media and productivity tablets later this year, the company flat-out denies plans to launch own-brand smartphones powered by Windows Phone 8. Microsoft believes that it has the right number of partners to satisfy different requirements for various smartphones.
"No, we do not [have plans for own smartphones]. We have a strong ecosystem of partners that we are very satisfied with," said Greg Sullivan, senior marketing manager for Windows Phone, in an conversation with InformationWeek web-site.
Since Microsoft imposes quite strict guidelines on what hardware should be used inside Windows Phone handsets, it hardly makes a lot of sense for the company to introduce its own models: its partners must install certain system-on-chips and certain screens. For example, all first-generation Windows Phone 8-based smartphones will utilize Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 SoCs.
Microsoft clearly needs to ensure the success of its Windows Phone 8 platform this time as mobile platforms become crucial elements of today's daily routine and without a competitive mobile operating system it will eventually be hard to compete for media tablets and PC markets. One of the ways to guarantee high quality of WP8 handsets is to build and sell them itself. But in order to make WP8 devices truly popular, the software giant needs to make sure that its partners, such as Nokia, Samsung, HTC and Huawei release competitive handsets.
After last week Microsoft announced plans to release its own tablets, rumours transpired that the company was also working on its own smartphones. Based on the comment from the company, it looks like there are no such plans at all, or the firm wants to keep them under wraps for as long time as possible.
Even though it may not be the best way to popularize Windows Phone 8 platform by making its own handsets, it may still make sense to collaborate with certain manufacturers, such as Nokia, to create co-branded smartphones. Such products may integrate technologies that a hardware company might want to avoid due to their cost or other issues and serve as both flagship devices as well as test vehicles for innovative features.