BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. on Sunday announced nine new hardware partners for Windows Phone and direct access to tools that will broaden the portfolio of devices for consumers and introduce new price points to accelerate growth in key markets. In addition to existing partners — Nokia, Samsung, HTC and Huawei — Microsoft has announced it is now working with Foxconn, Gionee, Lava (Xolo), Lenovo, LG, Longcheer, JSR, Karbonn and ZTE to develop on the Windows Phone platform. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO) With this latest news, Microsoft is now working with seven of the top 10 smartphone manufacturers in the world in addition to leading brands in China, India and Taiwan, representing more than 56 percent of the addressable market globally (IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, 2013). Customers can expect to see an even broader array of devices, from iconic to lower-cost options, coming to market. "We are pleased to add these new partners to our expanding Windows Phone ecosystem. They will be key contributors to continued growth across price points and geographies for Windows Phone," said Nick Parker, corporate vice president of the OEM Division at Microsoft. Windows Phone is the fastest-growing smartphone operating system, according to IDC, and posted the largest increase for 2013 (90.9 percent), more than doubling the growth of the overall market during the year. Microsoft also unveiled expanded hardware support that provides more flexibility so Windows Phone partners can build devices to meet the unique needs of their region or customer segments. Microsoft is adding support for Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 200 and 400 processors by Qualcomm Technologies Inc. with options that support various major cellular technologies, including LTE (TDD/FDD), HSPA+, EVDO and TD-SCMA. Windows Phone will also support soft keys and dual SIM, critical requirements particularly in Asian markets. These changes allow for manufacturing partners to easily leverage existing design investments to diversify their portfolio to include Windows Phone devices, including larger screen phablets.