updated 06:45 pm EDT, Mon April 11, 2011
Windows Phone 7 chassis spec may widen at MIX11
Suspicions that Microsoft might soon loosen its Windows Phone 7 hardware specifications were fueled Monday night by a rumor it might come this week. Having missed Mobile World Congress, a new chassis spec list could arrive as soon as Microsoft's MIX11 conference on Tuesday that would allow for cheaper devices. Which parts weren't mentioned by WinRumors' sources, but earlier tips had mentioned 800MHz second-generation Snapdragons and smaller or lower-resolution displays.
The wider specs would be a direct attempt to gain market share and likely an attempt to court phone makers who would otherwise go for Android. ZTE was frustrated with Microsoft for not letting it develop a bargain phone under the current guidelines.
As of today, virtually all WP7 phones are identical underneath. All need to have a 1GHz original Snapdragon, at least a 3.5-inch 480x800 touchscreen, a five-megapixel camera or better, and a minimum 8GB of built-in memory. The requirements have kept the phones competitive at the mid- to high-end but usually push the price up higher than ZTE or other companies might be comfortable with.
Most of Microsoft's focus at MIX11 is expected to be on its Mango update for the OS, which should bring multitasking and the full Internet Explorer 9 web engine, among numerous other upgrades.