The war in the west has been won; at least in the smartphone world.
With the likes of the USA, UK, France and Germany having almost reached saturation point, the focus has shifted elsewhere. Developing markets are now intensely important for the likes of Google and Microsoft as they aim to seize the day in these new territories. And of these, none is more important than India.
This is something that Redmond clearly acknowledges. In a recent interview with The Hindu Business Line, Ajey Mehta, Managing Director for Microsoft Mobile, stated that, in the region, Windows Phone is,
“clearly a challenger to Android”
With a population well over 1 billion strong, a strong economy and a burgeoning middle class, India is an exceptionally attractive market for OEMs. Add in a generally open political atmosphere and a general lack of domestic competition, and it seems even better still, to the point that even Samsung launched its own ‘Tizen’ OS in the region earlier in the year.
Though in the West it is mostly the case that users are entrenched between iOS and Android, this is not so much the case in India. Though Android predominates, these devices are mostly seen as inexpensive and disposable, and do not inspire a great degree of loyalty. With a strong name recognition (through Nokia) through feature phone sales, Redmond has prioritized India as a market of special significance.
However, with a market share of 3% in India, Microsoft has quite the mountain to climb. And through it possesses a number of advantages in the region, it is yet to be seen whether these alone will be enough to carry the day.
Do you live in India? What do you think of Microsoft’s mobile strategy? Let us know in the comments below.Further reading: Lumia, Lumia 540, Lumia 640, Microsoft, Windows Phone