Industry sources shared with DigiTimes that Microsoft is working together with chip suppliers, including Qualcomm, on the development of a Windows Phone 8 reference design. The goal is to attract more smartphone makers in China to enter production of entry-level and mid-range based on WP8. This reference design will primarily be intended for China and other emerging markets.
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.