Cheaper smartphones running Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system are on the way, a Microsoft executive said Wednesday. Speaking at the Computex trade show in Taipei, Microsoft’s Nick Parker, who handles the company’s partnerships with device makers, said the new handsets could be out by the end of the year. Compared to current models, which are in the “fours, fives and sixes,” he said referring to prices between $400 and $699, the new phones would have price points in the “ones, twos and threes.”
Consumers can expect prices of tablets and smartphones running Microsoft’s software to dip below $200 this year, says the company’s vice president of OEM partners Nick Parker. “We’ll reach price points that are very industry competitive for 7, 8, 10-inch devices,” Parker said, speaking to reporters after his keynote at Computex, Asia’s largest computing show. “They will really surprise you. Last year, we were in the 3s, 4s, 500 dollars. This year, we’ll be 1s, 2s, 3s.” He also said some Windows Phone smartphones will sell for under $200 in certain markets this year. The fast fall in prices for Windows 8 devices is the result of Microsoft’s aggressive efforts this year to gain market share in the mobile sector. The market is dominated by Google, which offers its Android operating system for free to handset and tablet developers.