What if you could have the best of two mobile platforms on one phone? If India-based Karbonn Mobile’s licensing agreement with Microsoft is any indicator, at least one part of the world will have access to dual-boot handsets that run both Android and Windows Phone.
Karbonn Mobile’s company chairman Sudhir Hasija told the Times of India that Microsoft has eased up regulations to open its platform up for other players. “We signed the agreement two days ago and will launch a range of Windows phones in about three months,” he said. The Windows Phone-only devices will arrive before the dual-boot phones, but eventually Karbonn plans to pack them up with Android and market them toward its business-centric, tech-savvy customers. It also plans to market the phones by promoting a series of augmented reality apps.
The idea of an Android-slash-Windows-Phone isn’t new. Late last year, there were rumors that Microsoft had asked HTC to tack on its Windows Phone platform as an extra option on its Android handsets. And with Nokia’s Android announcement last week, there seems to be a trend emerging among Microsoft’s partners.
There are still a few unanswered questions, though. What version of Android will these particular handsets run, and will they even be updated as often as other flagship devices? It also leads to a broader question of what Windows Phone manufacturers plan to do next. Will they follow in Nokia’s footsteps and try on forked Android for size, or simply tack on standard Android as an added bonus to push more Windows Phone devices? The latter could result in a generation of phones that actually befuddle consumers. Just because a device is capable of dual-booting doesn’t meant that it should.