During the Mobile World Congress last week, Microsoft managed to secure a deal with MENA (Middle East and North Africa) carrier Zain Group that is set to bring Windows Phone devices to Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and South Sudan later this year. Commenting on the deal, Nabeel Bin Salamah said this:
“The smartphone has become a necessary item in today’s society, and this agreement with Microsoft, one of the world’s leading technology companies, is just the beginning of yet another example of Zain delivering on its brand promise to achieve our vision of ‘A Wonderful World’. We have the utmost confidence in the capabilities of Windows smartphone technology and believe such an appealing offering will further attract, empower and enhance the lifestyles of our customers.”
Guastavo Fuchs — Microsoft Mobility Director, Middle East and Africa — mentioned that the region is projected to see smartphone growth of 38% in the year 2012. While the specific devices that will be available in the region are currently unknown, it’s safe to say that we can expect to see lower-cost handsets such as the Lumia 610 or ZTE Orbit hit the shelves. Tailored towards emerging markets, the lower price point of these Windows Phones are sure to get smartphones in the hands of many users. That isn’t to say, though, that a higher-end smartphone market is nonexistent; I think that such devices will thrive here as well.
It definitely will be interesting to see how well Windows Phone performs here. Perhaps the platform will see great success in these emerging markets.