Earlier this year, reports indicated that Microsoft may be building its own handset that will run on the forthcoming Windows Phone 8 platform. Microsoft did not confirm or deny the speculation, but a spokesperson stated that Microsoft, together with its hardware partners, was focused on bringing Windows Phone 8 to the market this year. In what may add fuel to these rumours, a report by BGR has indicated that Microsoft may launch its own Windows Phone 8 handset that could be launched within the next few months.
The report states, “Utilizing a strategy much like the one it is using with Windows 8, Microsoft is now looking to have its cake and eat it too in the smartphone market. With a number of high-profile partners like Nokia and Samsung secured for the launch of Windows Phone 8 later this fall, a trusted source informed BGR several weeks ago that Microsoft is quietly working on an own-brand smartphone that will compete directly with high-end devices like Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S III, and also with Windows Phones built by its own vendor partners, of course.”
A Microsoft handset in the works?
The report goes on to state that BGR's source has informed it that the handset is in the late stage of development, and that it will be launched in the coming months. The report also indicates that much like their tablets, this smartphone too will be launched under the Surface brand name. As for the launch period, it is likely that the handset will be available by the first quarter of 2013.
The report ends by noting, “BGR has been unable to confirm the exact timing of the launch, though a second well-placed source did suggest that Microsoft will likely not release an own-brand smartphone during the first round of Windows Phone 8 device launches coming ahead of the holidays this year.”
A recent report by Windows Phone Central also shares the same views on Microsoft unveiling a smartphone, “Information has come forward to Windows Phone Central that demonstrates Microsoft does have their own Windows Phone hardware in the works; in fact, we’ve heard it already exists and is in testing. The source(s) are known to us and not anonymous, though for obvious reasons we must keep them off the record”.
WPCentral speculates the reason behind Microsoft releasing a smartphone, “Sold through Microsoft Store, the devices could fill in a niche for Microsoft while their OEM partners can have the carriers. This would allow Microsoft to have their own "vision" of Windows Phone and a way to update the devices directly, with no one compromising their vision. In addition, their OEMs will mostly be kept "happy" since unlocked phones are not the crux of their business model.”