Hong Kong: Microsoft Corp , which has been trailing Apple Inc and Google Inc in the fast-growing smartphone market, will launch Mango-powered handsets from top makers including Nokia and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in coming weeks, a senior executive said on Thursday.   

"As the price comes down, emerging markets do become a huge opportunity, but also the existing markets in western Europe and the US, because as the price point comes down, more people will get into the smartphone market," said Andrew Lees, president of Microsoft's Windows phone division.

The smartphone sector is dominated by Apple and Android phones, which together make up about half of the market, with Microsoft seen as slow to react to the rapidly rising popularity of mobile devices.

But some analysts said Microsoft still had time to catch up, especially given uncertainties among handset makers after Google's planned purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc sparked worries that Google may one day produce its own handsets.