We’ve heard it multiple times over the past few months and we’re hearing it again today: Microsoft is working on their own smartphone.
The report comes from the Wall Street Journal, citing "people familiar with the matter" who claim that Microsoft is working directly with Asian suppliers to make their own Windows Phone 8-powered smartphone. This phone in question will “stimulate” sales of Windows Phone devices.
I have a hard time believing this for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, Windows Phone hasn’t been a fruitful* smartphone market for manufacturers like HTC and Samsung who make almost all of their revenue from Android, so it isn’t in Microsoft’s interest to compete against them.
Secondly, I strongly believe that the HTC 8X – branded as "Windows Phone 8X by HTC" – is Microsoft’s own Windows Phone 8 smartphone. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was on stage alongside HTC CEO Peter Chou when the phone was announced a few weeks ago – it looked just like the sort of collaboration you would see from Google and a Nexus device manufacturer.
The 8X has best-in-class internals, advanced optics and a very aggressive starting price of $99 on AT&T. There’s also the Nokia Lumia 920 with its PureView camera and PureMotion HD+ display.
There is nothing wrong with the hardware of these phones. The only thing that’s holding them back is the sheer lack of quality apps; responsibility for this lies squarely on Microsoft’s head.
Wall Street Journal goes on to mention that the device will have a display sized between 4"-5".
A Microsoft representative declined to comment on WSJ’s report but a recent statement from CEO Steve Ballmer neither confirmed not denied the existence of a Microsoft designed Windows Phone smartphone.
Whether we [have] a plan to [make our own phone] or we don’t have a plan, I wouldn’t comment in any dimension.
I have a feeling Microsoft will launch a "Surface Phone" after all.
If they do indeed announce such a phone, we will be covering it, so stay tuned to Redmond Pie!
What do you think? Should Microsoft make their own Windows Phone smartphone? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section over on our Facebook and Google+ page.
*Windows Phone as a platform has a <5% smartphone OS market-share.