LG could be wading into Nokia’s territory soon, with an impending Windows Phone 8.1 device launch – but could the LG Uni8 really give Nokia a serious battle on unfamiliar turf?
Although we’re already expecting to see LG’s G3 Android phone launched on May 27, it looks like LG might also raise a few eyebrows by unveiling a surprise Windows Phone handset. A photo of the LG Uni8 have leaked online revealing a Windows Phone interface, and if it’s real, this’ll be LG’s first foray into Windows Phone since the LG Optimus 7 back in 2010.
The leaked photo, shown below, seems to show a 5-inch Windows Phone 8.1 handset, with a typically LG design. The overall look reminds us of the LG L-series Android phones, which had a similar rectangular build, although the Uni8 obviously comes with Windows touch controls instead. We’d expect the LG Uni8 to be an affordable handset, probably retailing for between £100 and £200, to take on the likes of Nokia’s Lumia 625.
Both HTC and Samsung launched Windows Phone 8 handsets back at the end of 2012 when Microsoft announced its new mobile OS, and HTC’s Windows Phone 8X and 8S were even brand ambassadors. However, those Windows Phone forays were short-lived. HTC’s share of the market dropped sharply in 2013 with tough competition from Nokia, while Samsung concentrated instead of its Galaxy range of Android mobiles.
Meanwhile, Nokia has stayed loyal to Microsoft, almost exclusively designing Windows Phone smartphones, and introducing Microsoft’s services to a whole new audience with the intriguing Nokia X devices.
Nokia has a real hold over the Windows Phone market, ending last year with a 92% share. So will it be bothered by a bit of competition from LG? And can consumers be swayed from the Lumia range, which covers everything from budget devices to mighty phablets and beyond? Well, with Windows Phone handsets accounting for just 3% of smartphones shipped in Q1 2014 (Android is a clear leader at 81%), perhaps greater diversity is just what Microsoft needs right now.
We doubt Nokia’s sales will be troubled much by a fresh rival, at least not immediately, with any LG Windows Phone smartphone simply diverting potential Android customers instead. What will be interesting is seeing if other manufacturers take note, and decide to dip their toes back into Microsoft’s pond.
Is this good news for Microsoft, and bad news for Nokia? Let us know what you think in the comments below.