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Windows Phone to stick with Qualcomm chipsets

HTC Radar 4G
HTC Radar 4G

In an interview with Bloomberg, Microsoft's Andy Lees recommitted the Windows Phone platform to using Qualcomm chipsets for the foreseeable future. The move is part of an overall "volume" play, Lees says, which he hopes will drive down the production costs of Windows Phone handsets below $200. Whether those lower handset costs will result in lower consumer costs or simply higher profits for OEMs is an open question.

The decision to stick with Qualcomm doesn't come as much of a surprise in light of Microsoft's "chassis" strategy of tightly controlling which key components manufacturers can use on handsets as a way of reducing fragmentation for the platform. That strategy has largely paid off from a fragmentation standpoint, but it has so far meant that Windows Phone devices haven't kept up with Android in terms of shipping phones with high-end specs.

Interestingly, Lees also revealed that it charges OEMs on a tiered scale to license its operating system, so lower manufacturing costs will also mean lower licensing revenues for Microsoft. Lees is obviously hoping to make up the difference on volume —volume he no doubt expects will come thanks to Nokia's upcoming Windows Phones.