Windows Phone 8.1, the latest flavor of Microsoft’s mobile operating system, will soon arrive on the market on three handsets coming from Indian mobile phone maker Karbonn, the company has officially confirmed.
We already knew that Karbonn was planning the release of Windows Phone 8.1 devices, since Microsoft announced a partnership with the vendor several months ago, but no specific info on when these phones will arrive on the market has been provided until now.
However, the company has confirmed this week that it is planning the release of three Windows Phone 8.1 devices before the end of the third quarter of this year.
Speaking to the Economic Times of India, Karbonn Executive Director Shashin Devsare has also revealed that said phones will be launched with prices ranging from Rs. 8,000 ($133/€97) to Rs. 15,000 ($250/€184).
Apparently, these smartphones will be completely localized, as the mobile phone maker is planning on loading them with a variety of applications specific to the Indian market, as well as with services that are exclusive to this market.
“Microsoft sees great value in developing an ecosystem through partnership with local players like Karbonn,” Shashin Devsare reportedly says.
Apparently, the handset vendor is determined to significantly increase its market share in India to 17-18 percent by March 2015, while aiming to reach 25 percent of the market during the next financial year.
At the end of March this year, the handset vendor accounted for 10 percent of the smartphone segment in India, the aforementioned news site notes, citing a report from IDC.
Moreover, it adds that Windows Phone is currently considered the second largest mobile operating system in India, with 5 percent market share. Google’s Android platform is leading the trail, with 80 percent share.
Various other mobile phone makers in India have already announced Windows Phone 8.1 devices, including Micromax and XOLO, while others have confirmed plans to release their own such phones in the not-too-distant future.
Although no info on the hardware specs of Karbonn’s upcoming Windows Phones has been provided as of now, we can assume that they will be entry-level and mid-range devices, based on the price tags they should sport.
Windows Phone 8.1 was made official in April this year as a major update for Microsoft’s mobile OS, with new features such as an Action Center, Start screen backgrounds, an updated version of Internet Explorer Mobile, and a digital personal assistant called Cortana (which is, unfortunately, available only in the US for now, at least officially).