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Sony and Microsoft look to undercut Apple and Samsung with budget devices at Mobile World Congress

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By John McCarthy | Media editor

March 2, 2015 | 3 min read

Sony and Microsoft have both announced mid-range smartphones at the Mobile World Congress trade fair in Barcelona in a move which will see them priced comfortably beneath market leaders Apple and Samsung.

Both firms refrained from announcing new flagship devices yesterday (Sunday 1 March) as the firms looked to avoid being overshadowed by the unveiling of Samsung’s curved S6.

Additionally, Microsoft has stated it is waiting for the release of Window’s 10 later this year before usurping its 10-month-old flagship smartphone, the Lumia 930.

Instead Microsoft announced the Lumia 640 (priced at £115) and the Lumia 640 XL (£160), bringing 4G data connectivity and dual sim capabilities to consumers on a budget. Both devices will also come with a year’s free subscription to Office 365.

Stephen Elop, executive vice president of Microsoft Devices Group, said: “Today we announced two new, affordable Lumia phones: the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL, both of which give people the flexibility to do more anywhere, and at any time.

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“These phones will be upgradable to Windows 10, when it becomes available later this year.”

Elop added that the smartphones will help Microsoft “build on its success in the affordable phone space”.

Meanwhile, Sony reaffirmed its commitment to mobile with the announcement of the waterproofed Xperia M4 Aqua (costing around £218) and the Xperia Z4 tablet.

At the event the Japanese firm said it was focused on “broadening its customer base” over the next two quarters.

This comes after Nick Buckley, head of digital media and mobile marketing at Sony Mobile, told the Drum that the tech giant was looking to trade programmatically on the mobile platform.

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