Qualcomm and Microsoft will work together to port the Windows Mobile operating system to certain Qualcomm chips, speeding time to market and potentially dropping the price of smart phones, the companies said.
By integrating and testing support for Windows Mobile on Qualcomm's Mobile Station Modem chips, the companies hope to help device makers speed product development times, they said.
The support could also help lower costs for device makers. Handset manufacturers that use the integrated chips won't have to buy a separate application processor, said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with Gartner. "That will have an implication on the building material cost and it will drop that cost down," she said.
The collaboration is also likely to help Windows Mobile win inroads into markets like North America and parts of Asia where CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) has a foothold, she said. CDMA is the mobile telecommunications technology developed by Qualcomm.
Microsoft and Qualcomm also say that their collaboration will help extend the battery life of devices running the integrated chips.
The chips are expected to become available to handset makers in the second half of this year and should hit shelves in 2007.
Microsoft introduced the latest version of Windows Mobile last year but a critical feature, push e-mail, has only recently become available to users. Windows Mobile competes with other popular mobile operating systems including Symbian's, which has the bulk of the market share, and Research in Motion's operating system.