Microsoft not letting ultra-low-cost Indian OEMs touch Windows Phone

The ZDNet  IndianIt blog reports on an interview with Microsoft India’s Chairman Bhaskar Pramanik where Pramanik has said Microsoft would not allow smaller Indian OEMs to license Windows Phone for fear they will not be able to deliver the right user experience.

“The Windows Phone requires a specification for the user experience. We want to give the same kind of experience that Apple has. This limits the number of manufacturers who can build a product around that,” Mr Pramanik said.

Local OEMs includes names never heard in the west, including cromax, Spice, Karbon and Lava.

“I think till they (local handset makers) can design and build a product with that level of specification, yes it is a challenge for them,” he added.

“We want to cater to the real smartphone segment of the country,” Mr Pramanik said pointing out that by real smartphones he was referring to the high end category, which he felt was at least 14 million units big and centred around handsets costing around $300.

“We want to give the same user experience (as Apple) but across different platforms. It’s for the user to choose,” he added

Nokia, always a very strong brand in India, has however been suffering massive market share loss due to grey market imports from China and also from smaller OEMS running open source Android. It remains to be seen if the company can sell their Tango handsets and other mid-range Windows Phones as having a value proposition and desirability of an iPhone while still maintaining an accessible price.