If Windows Phone 8 (or indeed any other smartphone ecosystem at all) manages to make the market a tripartite one, Windows, Apple and Android, then the negotiating power of Apple is almost certain to decline. Indeed, the negotiating power of any hardware manufacturer will decline. We would therefore expect the subsidies to decline to the benefit of the bottom line of the airtime providers.
The idea that the carriers are one of the driving forces behind Windows Phone is one that has been discussed before, and it's certainly one element of the equation that can help the adoption of Windows Phone during the end of 2012 and into 2013.
I think that this effect is going to be more pronounced in the US than in any other territory, which in part is down to the strength of the major networks. Arguably the first major win with consumers for Android came through the Motorola Droid handsets that were available on the Verizon network. At a time when the iPhone was an AT&T exclusive, Verizon needed something to compete, the Droid range was the answer.
Now that Verizon is joining in the fun with Windows Phone 8 handsets, we could see the same halo effect that pushed Android into the American concious with Microsoft's mobile OS. And if we do, argues Worstall, then the carriers will reap the benefits.