Lenovo, LG and ZTE, among others, will make Windows Phones. Microsoft announced this at its own event prior to the Mobile World Congress telecom fair. There will also be support for dual SIM phones and cheap Qualcomm socs in Windows Phone.
Although Microsoft did not reveal all the features of Windows Phone 8.1 at the event in Barcelona, the software company did announce that nine manufacturers will be added to make Windows Phones. Among them are well-known names such as LG, Lenovo and ZTE. Less well-known such as Gionee and Lava are also on the list of new manufacturers. In addition, manufacturer Foxconn will work with Windows Phones, presumably as OEM; then they will be released under another company’s banner, not Foxconn’s.
Microsoft also already has some features of the upcoming update, probably Windows Phone 8.1. Phones can support two SIM cards after the update and the buttons below the screen and the camera button are no longer mandatory. Manufacturers can place the buttons on the screen and omit the camera button. In addition, Windows Phone supports reference designs from Qualcomm; that should reduce the effort manufacturers have to make to use Windows Phone.
Windows Phone will also support some new socs from Qualcomm: the Snapdragon 200 for cheap devices and the Snapdragon 400 with 4G support for slightly more expensive models. Microsoft will likely discuss all the features of the update at its own developer conference Build in April.
Microsoft CEO Joe Belfiore said at the event that all devices with Windows 8 “technically” can get the update. Whether the update will also come to all devices remains unclear.