JAPANESE PHONE MAKER Sony reportedly is planning to launch its first Windows Phone handset in 2014 in a bid to reduce its reliance on Google.
That's according to The Information, which has heard from a person with ears close to the deal that Sony will launch its first Windows Phone handsets in 2014 (paywalled) despite the firm previously having focused solely on Google's Android mobile operating system.
Microsoft reportedly has been working to convince Sony to do so, with recent reports claiming that the firm has cut its Windows Phone software licensing fees to get Sony and other manufacturers onboard.
The report claims that Microsoft is also in talks with ZTE to develop low-end Windows Phone handsets, and it's likely that we'll be seeing new Windows Phone handsets from Samsung next year too - with Microsoft reportedly having offered the Korean phone maker $1bn to make an Ativ S follow-up. Samsung has yet to confirm this.
Sony has revealed no further information about Sony's debut Windows Phone handset(s), and it's unclear whether Sony plans to add custom tweaks to Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile operating system.
However, we'd advise not to get excited yet, as this isn't the first rumour that we've heard about Sony jumping on the Windows Phone bandwagon. Rumours have been stirring for years that Sony will launch a Windows Phone handset with a physical keyboard, in a bid to snatch marketshare from Blackberry.
It's unlikely we'll be seeing Sony's rumoured Windows Phone handset at next week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) or next month's Mobile World Congress (MWC), as the company's first Windows Phone device supposedly will tip up in the middle of the year.
Sony was not immediately available for comment. µ
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