MOBILE CHIP DESIGNER Qualcomm has lost its exclusivity on Windows Phone handsets, which gives other chip makers an opportunity to play with Microsoft's smartphone design.
Microsoft has made the decision to open up Windows Phone hardware to different chip suppliers, Reuters reports. They'll be able to take advantage of Microsoft's deal with Nokia, which is likely to see another wave of handsets come out backed by different companies.
Qualcomm announced last year that it would support Windows Phone 7 smartphones with its Snapdragon processors, which were already having success in Android devices. Microsoft had been keeping a tight rein on the hardware, but the Nokia deal has changed things significantly
Microsoft has a tiny share of the smartphone market at the moment, but the Nokia deal means that production will certainly increase, once the two companies actually get their act together and bring something out.
Two companies mentioned as looking to play with Nokia Windows Phone handsets are ST-Ericsson and Ericsson, with both companies talking about delivering chips for the devices.
Qualcomm won't be too unhappy at losing the exclusive deal, considering that Nokia's entry into the market means there should be a lot more chip demand for producing Windows Phone handsets.
Mobile World Congress showed LG and Samsung Android devices moving away from the Snapdragon chip, so Qualcomm will be looking to Windows Phone handsets for growth, especially as it will continue to be the primary supplier. µ