In an article in the Wall Street Journal the head of Microsoft’s mobile devices in India, Ajey Mehta, has confirmed that Microsoft will be releasing a Windows 10 Mobile flagship later in 2015.
“If we want to build Microsoft as a strong consumer brand, we need presence at the flagship, high-end segment,” said Mr. Mehta.
Microsoft is rumoured to be working on two very high end devices, the Lumia 940 and Lumia 940 XL, with 2K screens and one with an iris scanner for authentication.
Microsoft has however been making gains in India with affordable handsets, with Counterpoint Research awarding the company 4.5% market share in Q1 2015, up from 3.6% in Q4 2014.
“We have actually seen a lot of success,” said Ajey Mehta, head of Microsoft’s mobile devices in India.
This is in contrast to a global market share of only 2.5% in Q1 2015.
“Emerging markets are the only savior for Microsoft right now,” said Neil Shah, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, a Hong Kong-based technology consulting firm.
Microsoft is increasing its investment in India, rebranding around 9,000 Nokia stores across India into Microsoft stores that will sell other Microsoft products, such as the Xbox in addition to mobile phones. Microsoft is also spending on television and print advertising.
“Nokia’s strength in India lay in its vast network of distribution and strong after-sales service network which Microsoft must continue to maintain in order to elicit the brand loyalty that
nokia had in India,” said Rushabh Doshi, a Singapore-based analyst at research firm Canalys.
Microsoft started the rebrand yesterday with their first priority store in Hydraba, and also launched the Lumia 540 priced at Rs.10,199, which comes with Rs.3,000 of freebies including Airtel data, ‘Gaana’, ‘Ola’ and PayTm cashback offers.