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.

Comments closed
    • squeeb
    • 7 years ago

    Galaxy S III premium device my ass. Nexus or bust!

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    No doubt, once Nokia goes bankrupt, MS will value buying out their phone division to help continue this. After all, they’re helping end Nokia by making their own phone. So hey, might as well take advantage of it.

    It pays to have your mole be made head of Nokia, too.

    • Vulk
    • 7 years ago

    LOL. I was just listening to The Critical Path with the guy from Asymco and they were discussing how the phone market is trending towards saturation which would benefit a modular provider like MS and Android more than integrated players like Apple. And then MS has rummors fly about that it may be burning the last shred of a positive relationships with it’s OEMs to go vertically integrated without apparently understanding exactly how bad an idea it is to compete directly with their customers the OEMs. Wow, between this and Windows 8 it’s like they’re trying to burn the house down or something.

    • blastdoor
    • 7 years ago

    Microsoft will be making a big mistake with both this and the Surface tablet if they are only doing this in order to slap their brand on a device that is made by somebody else. It’s not just that their brand isn’t worth much — it’s that they would be missing the advantages of vertical integration while creating consumer confusion and alienating their OEM partners. So it would be all cost and no benefit.

    The only way it makes sense for MS to make its own devices is if MS decided to fully embrace a vertically integrated business model. Otherwise it’s an empty, useless gesture.

      • no51
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]Google will be making a big mistake with both this and the Nexus tablet if they are only doing this in order to slap their brand on a device that is made by somebody else. It's not just that their brand isn't worth much -- it's that they would be missing the advantages of vertical integration while creating consumer confusion and alienating their OEM partners. So it would be all cost and no benefit. The only way it makes sense for GOOG to make its own devices is if GOOG decided to fully embrace a vertically integrated business model. Otherwise it's an empty, useless gesture.[/quote<]

        • blastdoor
        • 7 years ago

        Google’s android strategy is not a good model for any company that actually wants to make money, something I think Microsoft would like to do.

    • My Johnson
    • 7 years ago

    Microsoft is not hip. Google and Apple are.

      • moog
      • 7 years ago

      Bless you Cyril – Google now a bigger monopoly than MSFT. [url<]http://tinyurl/955[/url<]

    • Anarchist
    • 7 years ago

    microsoft should make a deal with blackberry maker while RIM still have some brand power left and have them migrate to w8 platform. That might just save RIM and give w8 a fighting chance against the ios and android.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      That would probably sew up the business phone market.

        • Vulk
        • 7 years ago

        Hey we’re a dying brand whose value is draining away daily… I know let’s hope on… rolls a die… WINDOWS PHONE! Awesome plan! That totally saved Nokia!

        Yeah don’t think so.

      • Theolendras
      • 7 years ago

      I think it’s a little late for that. RIM could have been convinced a year ago, but with the BB10 development pretty much far along and seems to be well received by the development community, so they probably will go out and test that gamble unless there is an outright buyout.

    • Decelerate
    • 7 years ago

    Ironic, this rumor is potentially hurting Nokia more than anyone else…

      • raddude9
      • 7 years ago

      Yep, this new microsoft phone and even just rumors about it will hurt Nokia and it’s far from the first time that microsofts actions have hurt them.
      Although when Nokias share price drops again, it will make it easier for another company (guess who?) to snap them up….

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 7 years ago

        The thing is that with all of their patents there would likely be some serious bidding. With MS and Apple allied on one side and Google with its partners on the other the patents are just about the only thing that has value any more.

        On the other hand it’s just as plausible that MS would get a sweetheart deal on the patents in exchange for lining Elop’s pockets just a bit more. A thoroughly depressing thought.

          • dpaus
          • 7 years ago

          Most of the fundamental smartphone patents are still owned by HP, who got them in their purchase of Palm

          • Vulk
          • 7 years ago

          Nokia’s Finnish. The EU would have to approve it, and there is little love between MS and the regulatory oversight branch there unlike the DoJ and MS here.

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            There’s no reason for EU not to approve it.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            Yeah I don’t see how anyone could claim MS has a monopoly position in phones.

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        Yes, this is part of the Grand Plan of MS buying Nokia. The phone they are talking about IS a “nokia” phone; somebody inside MS just forgot to wait until the takeover was finalized

          • mutarasector
          • 7 years ago

          Yep… Elop is M$’s 5th column

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            *sad* that the show got cancelled

        • Theolendras
        • 7 years ago

        I for one think Microsoft have been aiming for that for a while, but with recent developpement on iOS6 woes, maybe Apple could consider it as well. They got the cash, they need a competive map service quickly which Nokia already has, they could severely compromise the Windows phone 8 entrance in the market, they could also spinoff another compagny to pursue Symbian low-end phones to recoup some money. I say they’ve got motives almost as much as Microsoft and more capital.

          • Decelerate
          • 7 years ago

          Imo it’s better to slightly overpay for Nokia’s mapping services than greatly overpay for Nokia and all the unnecessary (from Apple’s point of view) assets.

            • Theolendras
            • 7 years ago

            That may very well be, but with a market cap of 9.96B right now, and almost ensure a dead on arrival for Windows phone would be a plus value. With the Oracle, Microsoft, Yahoo and others Nokia has annual revenue of 1.2B over the map licensing alone. So both ways would make sense to me, especially with Apple way of trying to get absolute control whenever possible.

    • [+Duracell-]
    • 7 years ago

    Very glad I don’t have an upgrade until May…I can’t decide now between the Nokia 920 and HTC 8X.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      7 months? You shouldn’t even be considering stuff that’s out now or in the very near future. Keep up with reviews and information, sure, but in 7 months there will be plenty of newer, better options if you’re going high-end.

        • deruberhanyok
        • 7 years ago

        But what if you’re not going high-end? The stuff that comes out this month will have been available for 6 months by May, so any early adopter bugs will have been worked out and you’ll still be getting a really powerful handset – likely at a substantial discount. I doubt anyone will be calling the 920 or 8x underpowered in the Spring.

        • [+Duracell-]
        • 7 years ago

        I should’ve been more clear. If I were to upgrade now, I would have a hard decision between the Nokia 920 and the HTC 8X. If the Microsoft phone rumor does turn out to be true, then there would be three potential choices to make if the phone ended up being pretty good.

        My next phone will definitely be high-end, and in 7 months, there will be newer options out there. I do have the urge to switch to Verizon as Sprint service is pretty crappy around the area I work and live.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          Fair enough. It’s good to keep up with developments, and once this whole generation of ARM Cortex A15/Krait is out there won’t be a ton of advancement for a while.

          Verizon coverage is nice, but you certainly pay for it. AT&T is the other option for coverage better than Sprint but service not as expensive as Verizon.

    • Ratchet
    • 7 years ago

    The thing is, no one is gonna buy a phone with “Microsoft” or “Windows” on it, it just looks too lame. They need to create a different brand, a sub-division or something, if they want a chance of success here.

    I’m rooting for them either way, competition is always good for the consumer.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      idk. people have no problem buying an xbox with Microsoft on it. they’d probably just make an X-phone.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 7 years ago

        I keep thinking that is the way they should have branded their consumer stuff – tablets included. Built in Xbox live for chatting purposes would seem to me a selling point to those pre-existing users.

        Then again maybe that’s just me since I know way too many people that felt they were burned by Win CE and previous WP devices.

        Branding Windows as their professional/power user side seems like it would have a benefit (and with a UI similar or the same as W7 would be far less disruptive).

        Edited to add: I don’t think the OP is entirely wrong. I don’t think that having Microsoft or Windows on your product makes it “sexy”. There is brand recognition but it isn’t one that makes people desire the product. MS is also not known for their polish or industrial design in the same way as say Apple (or many of their other competitors). They’re also well known for axing consumer products with little to no notice as well as failing to provide an upgrade path. A console brand on the other hand can bring an emotional response that will make people want it – especially if you can find ways of enhancing both experiences by adding one to the other.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          i don’t disagree, and i think an xphone brand for the confusing windows phone 7 phones would have been a better decision. windows as a brand isn’t especially sexy, nm when compared to a cute robot.

            • DancinJack
            • 7 years ago

            …or an illuminated, magic apple.

            I agree with most of what you guys are saying though. I think XPhone is an AWFUL name though.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 7 years ago

            Xbox phone is clunky but could be workable. Include some free games including some that were included on the desktop (freecell, minelayer, hearts) a couple of indie Xbox games like a minecraft clone and pitch it to younger or hipper crowd could just do the trick. If I had a dime for every office worker i knew that was addicted to Bejeweled I’d be rich.

            “The Xbox you hold in your hand!” or some such. Maybe the Xbox handheld.

            It definitely provides people with something more fun that they can latch on to.

            Although Xphone brings up the image of Patrick Stewart so maybe that’s not all bad. That would be a pretty amusing tie in.

            • DancinJack
            • 7 years ago

            I’d buy ANY phone that some connection to Star Trek and Picard.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 7 years ago

            I was riffing off his X-Men role but a single “Make it so” in an ad could just kill a certain percentage of the population.

            Perhaps he could be sitting in a high tech chair that was both reminiscent of the “con” and of Professor X’s wheelchair. That could be a lot of fun.

            OT: Damn I wish the Trek movies didn’t suck.

            • DancinJack
            • 7 years ago

            Some of them don’t suck. Wrath is good. First contact is cool despite some major story issues.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 7 years ago

            I dunno I was bitterly disappointed in the NG movies I saw including First Contact. They just felt like an enormous step backwards from the last two seasons.

            I found Wrath of Khan (as you say) the best and most like the original series 3 and 4 were tolerable but kinda meh. Everything other than the part in Yosemite and Christopher Plummer was dire in 5 and I can’t even think about Generations without utter disgust.

            In nearly all of the movies the camaraderie that came with the series felt so incredibly forced – and that the screenwriters had little idea of what made Trek interesting. Spectacle isn’t really important unless it serves the story in those movies and I don’t think they understood that well at all.

            • DancinJack
            • 7 years ago

            Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. We are the BORG.

            • mutarasector
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]windows as a brand isn't especially sexy, nm when compared to a cute robot[/quote<] Depends,,, rename it the 'X-fon', MetroFon, ModeX., or just XXX. Put a nice little backlit Win 8 logo, and voila!!

      • raddude9
      • 7 years ago

      I agree, microsoft needs a strong sub-brand like “Xbox” for a product like this, I suppose it’s too late for a Zune-phone

        • pedro
        • 7 years ago

        I tend to agree.

          • destroy.all.monsters
          • 7 years ago

          Seriously MS should just hire a bunch of us here and remove a few layers of management. I’m happy to provide my advice for less than 100k a year. 🙂

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 7 years ago

      I’m not sure that a company that is teaming up with Apple on the patent front is exactly a shining beacon of light in support of competition but I agree with your first paragraph wholeheartedly.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 7 years ago

      How about Zune? Kin? Courier? Vista? Er…well…HALO!

        • RickyTick
        • 7 years ago

        Surface phone makes more sense I think.

    • shaurz
    • 7 years ago

    Not sure I see the point, since they effectively own Nokia now after the Elopcalypse.

      • TEAMSWITCHER
      • 7 years ago

      Because the Lumia 920 is practically a “brick phone” when compared to the weight of the SGS3 and iP5.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        and does more? it’s a solid 185g. IT’S GOING TO BREAK MY ARM.
        that’s leaving aside the reputation nokia has as the strongest hardware in the industry.

    • Norphy
    • 7 years ago

    So this is going to be Microsoft’s version of the Nexus line then? Microsoft Surface Phone? Cool, OK.

    • drfish
    • 7 years ago

    I’ll probably still go with 920s for myself and the office but I’m very curious what this could be about. Its pretty bad for Nokia that info about this sucker leaked before the 920 was out.

    • no51
    • 7 years ago

    Gonna see what this is about before I get the Lumia 920.

    inb4 M$FT IS TEH SUXX0RS etc. etc.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      it also makes me want to wait. i’ve NEVER had the kind of quality customer service anywhere like i’ve had from MS. RROD xbox 3 years out of warranty? np, here’s a new one. zune dropped in water out of warranty? np, and here’s an upgrade from a 4gb to an 80gb, and a new warranty on that one (brother’s case, which i dealt with while he was in africa, queue the “nobody wants zune giving away” jokes). if nothing else, i’d buy this phone just to deal with their customer service. even if it sucked, which it likely won’t.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 7 years ago

        The support angle – once it gets out by word of mouth – could well save them in the phone market.

        Still it doesn’t bode well for Nokia.

          • Sahrin
          • 7 years ago

          >Still it doesn’t bode well for Nokia.

          That’s what I was thinking.

          • Flatland_Spider
          • 7 years ago

          You’re assuming this isn’t an MS branded Nokia.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 7 years ago

            I am but then that’s what the articles are stating as well. Add to that how MS is pushing the 8X at the moment and it sure looks like they just shanked their “best pal” in the shower room.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            They seem to be promoting both HTC and Nokia. I have a feeling they want to promote anybody who will make a WP8 device.

            • A_Pickle
            • 7 years ago

            Which is smart, considering few manufacturers are doing that.

          • mutarasector
          • 7 years ago

          What makes it even more difficult is now I have to decide between a Galaxy Note II phablet, a Nokia 920 for WP8 and its outstanding camera/Pureview image stabilization, and now this. On top of it, I don’t know if Samsung will also do a Win 8 loaded phablet.

          Decisions, decisions… I guess this will put me into a holding pattern as well.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            Samsung ATIV S WP8…not technically a ‘phablet’ compared to the Note but it’s got a 4.8″ screen which is still pretty big.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            too bad the rest of the phone isn’t that exciting.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            Ok, so it’s not your holy grail Lumia, but what about it is bad? At least it provides some options that is sorely lacking in WP hardware.

            • no51
            • 7 years ago

            For me, because it’s HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE*.

            *I’ve only seen the GS3 in person, which I assume is the same as the ATIV. There’s only room for one bulge in my skinny jeans, and I can’t put it somewhere else.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            it’s not [i<] bad, [/i<] it's just not exciting. no wide angle lens, or fast shots, or beats, or fancy touch screen, or OIS... it's just like a g3 with wp (i know it's not exactly). it's just not a phone i'd get excited over.

      • A_Pickle
      • 7 years ago

      Well, as much as I don’t agree with the internet’s ridiculous butthurtedness of Windows 8… isn’t it the truth? Microsoft’s Surface tablets are not in the least bit interesting to me. They [i<]both[/i<] lack USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. If I wanted another generic, herp-derp "look my fingers can touch interface elements" and "hooray a physically separate and uncomfortable bluetooth keyboard" tablet, I'd just buy an iPad. Hell, ASUS's Transformers, with the attachable and real notebook-style keyboards are more appealing to me than that. The Surface doesn't offer me anything except less functionality and, in the case of the ARM version, less control of my own system. I would rather purchase Acer's tablet than the Surface, but really I suspect ASUS will be the one to get it right (again).

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<] The Intel variant will feature a larger battery although extra battery life is not an immediate guarantee. The Pro device will allow for MicroSDXC cards, USB 3.0, and mini DisplayPort output. Both devices feature 2x2 MIMO antennae for their WIFI connectivity which could provide a fair chunk of bandwidth for streaming media. [/quote<]

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