Prior to this announcement, a 41 megapixel camera had been on Symbian. Now it will be available on Windows Phone. If it works out, Windows Phone will have a differentiating feature between itself and the competition that does not invite the same controversy that the UI does. This is a step in the right direction. For most of the recent history of the smartphone race, new and exciting features typically were reserved for Android or iOS.
Does this mean there is a shift in the race from a duopoly to a 3 horse race? Probably not yet. The fact is that the lion’s share of the market is Android. However, with the changes Microsoft made when it moved Windows Phone off of the compact edition (CE) based kernel to one similar to Windows 8 and by making it possible for the OS to be on high end and low end specs, Windows Phone can now compete with Android on a variety of price points. Low prices has benefited Android tremendously up to this point. So by aiming for feature phone users looking to switch to a smartphone, Windows Phone may be able to gain some ground by going after these first time smartphone users. The plot will also get even more interesting if Apple really does release a cheaper iPhone that really is cheap enough to get users attention (and stay fairly profitable). This could lead to Android’s lead diminishing and a more equal distribution of market share. These are ifs though and until we see what actually comes out of the pipeline and how users respond, that is all it is.