Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) recently entered the Chinese smartphone market officially with Windows Phone. It is betting on Windows Phone Tango to drive sales of its devices in the price conscious Chinese market. Microsoft’s CEO for the Greater China region is aiming to beat Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone in terms of sales initially and eventually become the market leader by pushing Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android to the second position. 
Microsoft betting on China to restore Windows Phone’s honor
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Microsoft has failed to gain any significant traction in the U.S. smartphone market despite being available for more than a year. Like Android, it will be focusing on inexpensive smartphones to drive growth and quickly gain market share in new markets like China and India.
Apple and Google are both looking at the growing Chinese smartphone market for the next stage of growth. China is expected to be the world’s largest smartphone market in 2012. Though Microsoft was 2-3 years late to the U.S. smartphone market, it has a chance of capturing some share in the relatively nascent smartphone markets in countries like China and other emerging markets. IDC estimates Microsoft’s share in the Chinese smartphone market to reach 20% by 2016, ahead of Apple’s 16%. Overtaking Google may be much harder, as it already has a majority market share in the Chinese market, with scores of cheap phones running different versions of Android.
Xbox, Kinect, Windows Phone and other devices account for around 3.4% of the total $38 Microsoft Trefis price estimate, which stands nearly 20% above its market price.Notes:
- Microsoft Says Windows Phone Will Pass Apple in China, BusinessWeek [↩]