updated 12:45 pm EDT, Tue May 24, 2011
Windows Phone Mango to use only 2nd gen Snapdragon
Qualcomm used the occasion of the Windows Phone Mango (7.1) update event to confirm that it would be the only processor supplier for the next wave of devices using Microsoft's OS. All seven of the named companies will be using a variant of the second-generation Snapdragon. Which clock speeds weren't mentioned, although Microsoft promised that phones would get cheaper with Mango and left the door open to 800MHz Snapdragons and possibly the dual-core 1.2GHz chip found in phones like the Evo 3D.
The claims would dash claims from ST-Ericsson that the new batch of Windows Phone hardware would use its chips. Nokia has only said that it planned to release a wide range of phones that include more than just the high end. It has more privilege to customize the OS than other phone makers but may not have a choice in processors.
Microsoft has been attempting to balance the best of an integrated phone design like the iPhone with its traditional licensed phone approach by creating chassis guidelines. The requirements limit what processors and other components phone makers can use, but it lets them make their own more distinct devices while keeping the update process quick. Mango/7.1's guidelines are slightly looser to encourage more variety but are still homogenous.
During its New York City event, Microsoft said it was hoping to avoid the fragmented approach of Android, where companies can use most ARM or x86 processors. The OS' lack of hard requirements has given it an edge in cost and flexibility but has also meant users waiting months for OS updates, if they get them at all. Google has been concerned enough about the issue that it began landing anti-fragmentation agreements where companies promise to update quickly and for at least 1.5 years after a device is on shelves.