Microsoft phone rumors heat up

Apple has the iPhone. Google has the Galaxy Nexus. Now, rumor has it Microsoft, too, could be about to introduce its own phone—not just another a partner device running Windows Phone 8, but a bona-fide, Microsoft-branded handset.

TechHive quotes three separate stories—one by Boy Genius Report, another by China Times, and a third by Windows Phone Central. All three stories were posted within the past couple of days, and they all cite evidence of a Microsoft phone's impending arrival. BGR and Windows Phone Central both quote their own, unnamed sources, while China Times... well, the Google Translation obfuscates much of that story, but the lede is hard to misinterpret. It states:

It is understood that Microsoft has, as early as a few months ago had been put into the development of smart phone hardware and selected and Shuo assembly partner, the first half of next year is expected to be officially unveiled its own brand smart phone.

Other details are, for now, few and far between. Windows Phone Central claims the hardware is going to be "unique," while Boy Genius Report expects a premium device in the same vein as the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III.

Given that Microsoft is already prepping its own, Windows 8-powered Surface tablets, the possibility of a similar Windows Phone 8 device doesn't seem all that remote. Of course, Windows Phone 8 won't be lacking for suitable hardware. Nokia's Lumia 920 and 820 look pretty slick, as do HTC's 8x and 8, and I'm sure others are coming. Perhaps only a homebrewed Microsoft device could generate enough buzz to rival the iPhone and its Samsung counterparts, though.

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