Where's the low end?
Flip back to earlier this year. I'm sure you remember HTC's iconic press event, where they announced three phones, One X, One S, and One V. The focus was on having a simplified line up, with a high end, mid range, and low end device, in order to combat fragmentation and buyer confusion.
The ONE family, S, X, and V
It was clear from the start that this system wasn't perfect. While the S and X where upheld, it seemed that the OEM had abandoned the V, almost completely, until it was quietly released on Virgin Mobile, for $199.
Today, HTC announced what seemed to be a translation of it's One line, minus the low end. Well, not low end in the One V's $200 unlocked low end, the 8S is just somewhat cheaper than the One S. Ultimately, this is just a reflection of Microsoft, who seemed to be overwhelmingly involved with the 8 series. There's a serious lack of One V style Windows Phones, which is the kind of market Microsoft needs. A noticeable percentage of Android phones sold are free on contract, and around $150 outright on prepaid carriers, but it's incredibly hard to think of any Windows Phones at that point (I found two, Lumia 610 and Lumia 610 nfc), let alone ones in the states.
So now the ball is back in Microsoft's court. If they aren't going to commission low end phones, are they just abandoning that market? Or is there something more in store for Tango-esque devices? In the end, Microsoft's current strategy only creates confusion, so I do hope it'll change soon.