Archos CEO Loic Poirier confirmed in a short interview that the company plans to enter the Windows Phone race. When that will be is unknown at this point, as Archos indicated that it will wait until the time is right.
Currently, Archos heavily relies on Android as the smartphone OS of choice, including the Platinum, Titanium, Oxygen and Helium series of phones. The company just revealed two phones last month during CES 2014 including the Archos 45 and 50 Helium models (pdf).
Poirier pointed out that the Windows Phone market has matured enough for the company to enter, but Android will remain as the company's primary focus on both the smartphone and tablet front. "Before anything else we are focused on Google," he said.
According to ABI Research, Windows Phone commands 4 percent of the global smartphone market in Q4 2013 and Q3 2013, falling behind Apple's iOS and Google's Android. Windows Phone saw a steady growth of 19 percent sequentially and 104 percent year over year. Nokia accounted for 90 percent of the 10.9 million Windows Phone shipments in Q4 2013.
With Microsoft close to securing Nokia's Devices and Services division, one must wonder what the playing field will be like once the transaction is complete. More specifically, what will it be like for companies like Archos entering the Windows Phone arena? Probably no different than tablet makers having to deal with Microsoft's own Surface tablets.
Like the Archos Helium rage that was just announced, the company will likely sell Windows Phone 8 "budget" devices unlocked and on the cheap side. The company should do quite well overseas in emerging markets, as Windows Phone appears to be in second place in 14 markets around the world, and outselling iPhone devices in 24 markets.