Microsoft reportedly is cooperating with chipset suppliers including Qualcomm on development of Windows Phone 8 reference design aiming to attract more smartphone makers in China to enter production of WP8 phones for the entry-level and midrange smartphone segments in China and other emerging markets, according to industry sources.
Microsoft is expected to release the WP8 reference design in mid-2013, with smartphone models built on the reference design to hit the market in the second half of the year, the sources indicated.
While some top-tier smartphone vendors in China including Lenovo, Huawei and ZTE have all announced plans to launch WP8 phones in 2013, the development of the WP8 reference design will help Microsoft expand the ecosystem and market share of its new Windows Mobile platform, the sources commented.
Qualcomm is expected to tie up with Microsoft for development of the reference design, since the chipset vendor has been offering chipset solutions for all WP8- and WP7.5-based models currently available in the market, the sources revealed.
MediaTek, an experienced chipset vendor for Window Mobile-based reference designs and a chipset vendor with strong business ties with China-based smartphone makers, is also likely to team with Microsoft for the speculated reference design project, said the sources.