It seemed inevitable that Microsoft would create a Surface Phone — not an official name — after it acquired Nokia. In fact, there was talk long before that too, but Microsoft has often denied those rumors and stuck with producing new Lumia phones. However, rumors and leaks regarding such a device have continued, suggesting it’s something the company may still be considering. Here’s everything we think we know about Microsoft’s Surface Phone project.
Microsoft may wait until late 2017 to release Surface Phone
After the Surface Phone failed to make an appearance at Microsoft’s 2016 BUILD conference, two reports from Windows Central quoting sources close to the matter, said Microsoft could wait until early 2017 to release the new device. The site’s late April report states April 2017 is the current target for the new smartphone. The first report said that instead of one Surface Phone, Microsoft could release three models. Early plans for the Surface Phone release allegedly suggest that there will be a consumer model, a business model, and an “enthusiast” model, or a high-spec version for tech geeks. Details about possible specs for the devices or what the difference will be between the three models have yet to be released.
The rumored timing of the Surface Phone has recently been pushed out to late 2017. This follows statements by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in November 2016 that provides a tiny bit of clarification to Microsoft’s official position on smartphones. Specifically, Nadella indicated that Microsoft does not want to simply compete with the industry leaders with a “me-too” device but rather wants to focus its efforts and develop the “ultimate” mobile devices. If one reads between the lines, it would seem that the Surface Phone will be a high-end smartphone that’s possibly aimed at providing very specific value to the business market, serving as a halo device for Microsoft’s long-term mobile strategy, or some combination of both.