Windows Phone chief Andy Lees is on the press interview circuit, outlining what Microsoft plans to do to make Windows Phone the number-three platform in the next year.
Here’s what he talked about:
- Samsung is key. Lees told Bloomberg that both Samsung and HTC are increasing their marketing budgets for Windows Phone, and said to AllThingsD that “Samsung is not quite as deep a dependence as the Nokia one, but it’s certainly in that vein.” Last month Microsoft signed a patent cross-licensing deal with Samsung that also included more cooperation on development of Windows Phone.
- Some marketing budget will go to carriers to push the phones at their stores. One of the biggest problems with Windows Phone is that the staff working at carriers’ retail stores don’t know about it and aren’t pushing it. Some of Samsung and HTC’s marketing budget will probably go to spurring retail sales, Lees told Bloomberg. He also told the Seattle Times that Nokia is making a big push at retail — which is also what Nokia’s North American marketing chief Chris Weber (a former Microsoftie) told us earlier this summer.
- There will be phones that cost less than $100, Lees told the Seattle Times.
- But no LTE or dual-core phones at first. According to Lees, the first phones that supported LTE networks — such as Verizon’s 4G LTE network — ate up too much battery life. Lees told AllThingsD that Microsoft is working with hardware partners to create LTE phones that are “far more efficient,” but didn’t give a date commitment, suggesting they won’t be out until 2012. Similarly, none of the current crop of Windows Phones use dual-core processors because the platform isn’t yet ready to take advantage of them.
Windows Phone will face stiff competition from Apple’s iPhone line, including the new 4S, which has a dual-core processor, and the 3GS, which is now available for free with a contract.
Google is also getting ready to release its new version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, in coming weeks (the announcement was supposed to be tomorrow but was postponed out of respect for Steve Jobs’ death), and Samsung will put out the flagship phone for that release, the Nexus Prime.
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