While ZTE is a named Microsoft partner for Windows Phone 8, the company won’t be releasing any new Windows Phone 8 smartphones when Microsoft debuts its forthcoming mobile OS, which is expected to arrive later this year. According to the company’s European marketing and development director Chris Edwards, ZTE Windows Phone 8 handsets won’t be arriving on the market until mid- or late 2013.
“Although we haven’t announced anything yet, I can confirm that ZTE’s first Windows Phone 8 handsets will be arriving towards middle-late 2013,’ Edwards said in an interview with The Inquirer.
The late launch date may be a blow to Microsoft as it tries to grow its marketshare. Currently, partner Nokia is the leading Windows Phone manufacturer for Microsoft.
Also, unlike rivals Samsung and Nokia, ZTE is not expecting to release any high-end Windows Phone 8 devices. With the new Windows Phone 8 OS, Microsoft has added support for high resolution 720p HD displays and multi-core processor support in a bid to stay competitive with Android rivals. According to ZTE, the company will only be releasing mid-range handsets to offer customers a cheaper alternative.
ZTE did not reveal what specs those Windows Phone 8 handsets will carry, however.
“We plan to concentrate on things that really matter: good batteries, fast speeds and decent cameras,” Edwards added. Other specs that the company revealed that it is looking into for both Windows Phone 8 and Android handsets moving forward include larger 4- to 4.5-inch displays, 4G LTE connectivity, and NFC support.
In contrast, Nokia and Microsoft are expected to debut new Windows Phone 8 Lumia smartphones come this September 5 at an event in New York City. Samsung is also planning on launching a mid-range and a high-end Windows Phone 8 smartphone according to leaks.