Digitimes reports that Qualcomm is working closely with Microsoft to deliver affordable LTE-enabled Windows 10 Mobile handsets in the $80 price range.
The handsets would be based on the MSM8909 Snapdragon 210 platform and were meant to address the burgeoning LTE market in China.
Digitimes also reports that Qualcomm has aggressively cooperated with Chinese chipset vendor Allwinner to push Windows Mobile 10-based entry-level smartphones and tablets with phone functionality, looking to improve its shipment performance by expanding its market base via more broad partnerships over platforms.
Qualcomm has been increasingly challenged by processor companies MediaTek and Spreadtrum, making Qualcomm-exclusive Windows phones a good buffer to the assault to low-end Android handsets using the other processors.
The Snapdragon 210 processor uses a low-power 28nm 1.1 GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 CPUs, Adreno 304 GPU, Bluetooth 4.1 and 802.11n WiFi, along with support for display resolutions of up to 720p, up to 8-megapixel cameras (1080p video capture and playback; hardware H.265 codec support and QuickCharge 2.0 (separate chip required). The cellular radio chip supports multi-mode 3G as well as dual-mode LTE (up to Cat 4 at 150 Mbps with 2×10 MHz Carrier Aggregation) and dual-SIM.
Digitimes expects the solutions to enter production in the 3rd quarter of 2015 and reach the market in the 4th.
Microsoft is believed to be working on one or two “value” Windows Phone handsets but is also hoping 3rd party OEMs will release their own solutions running Windows 10 Mobile to fill the gaps in their range.