Microsoft has released the Lumia 530 smartphone in the UK, taking aim at the entry-level smartphone market.
The Lumia 530 will be available in stores from 4 September from as little as £60, clearly positioning itself as a low-price alternative to more expensive Android and iOS phones. The phone runs on the Windows Phone 8.1 OS, and features a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 4 inch LCD display and includes Microsoft services like Skype and Microsoft Office available right out of the box.
"With high-end apps, features and exceptional build quality at an amazing price, the Lumia 530 sets a new benchmark for affordable smartphones," said Conor Pierce, vice president of Microsoft devices UK & Ireland. "The Lumia 530 demonstrates our focus on welcoming more people to the Windows Phone ecosystem."
Despite a growing app ecosystem, Windows has struggled to make a real impact in the smartphone market, rarely exceeding a three per cent market share, and faced with dropping shipments as Android grows more and more popular. The launch of the Lumia 530, combined with the recent announcement of the £15 Nokia 130, seems to show that Microsoft is increasingly focusing on the entry-level market.
The popularity of lower-end smartphones in fast-growing emerging markets may well see this tactic pay dividends for Microsoft in the future, but with Google's Android One attempting to capture the same market, the have a fight ahead of them.