Many consumers are looking for the lowest priced smartphone that still offers advanced functionality when compared to feature phones. Over the last couple of years, we have seen these buyers picking up inexpensive Android devices or superseded iPhones. For these customers, Windows Phone may be the better choice for a few reasons.
If you pick up an older generation iPhone, say an iPhone 4, then you will miss out on some iOS 6 functions. While new smartphone owners may not need advanced features like 3G FaceTime calling, there are some missing functions in older iPhones. There are also some application limitations, and that may frustrate those who like to play games and try out the latest iOS apps.
There are very few low-end Android devices running the Jelly Bean software that was released in July 2012. Most run Ice Cream Sandwich while some even still run Gingerbread, a version of Android that was released in 2011. These devices tend to slow down with usage, have inconsistent user experiences, and have low quality cameras, and I often hear many frustrations from people with these devices.
Nokia is making some real strides when it comes to low cost smartphones in the US. The new T-Mobile Lumia 521 is a perfect example with a full price of just $150! With this, you get a phone running the latest Windows Phone 8 OS, solid 5 megapixel camera, all of the excellent Nokia apps and services (HERE Maps, Nokia Music, and more), removable battery and storage card, etc. Windows Phone 8 is a super responsive OS and it is easy to personalize the experience with customizable Live Tiles. You can find 82x models on AT&T and Verizon that offer the same pleasing Windows Phone 8 experience at a low price.
Other than the advanced hardware found in devices like the Lumia 920 and 928, you get many of the same UI and software experiences with low-cost Windows Phone 8 devices.
Windows Phone may be lacking apps and functionality, making it tough to compete with iOS and Android at the high end, but their low- to mid-range offerings are extremely competitive. If Windows Phone can attract new smartphone buyers with low entry-priced Lumia devices, then these consumers may move up to the top-of-the line devices the next time they upgrade. Data has shown that Windows Phone buyers are very happy customers and if Nokia can get these consumers to try out low-cost devices, we should continue to see Windows Phone market share increase.