What if Microsoft announces a Surface Phone on October 26?
Could Microsoft surprise us all
Microsoft has been rumored to work on a Surface Phone for many years now, but we have not seen any reliable leak to confirm the phone’s existence. However, there are a number of reports claiming that Microsoft is indeed working on a Surface Phone, but the launch has been pushed back into 2017 to coincide with the big update for Windows 10 Mobile – Redstone 2.
Microsoft’s current flagship models, the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, are already almost a year old, and the only really powerful smartphone you could buy, besides the 950s, is the HP Elite x3. Will Microsoft rely entirely on OEMs until the company is ready to show off the Surface Phone in the second half of 2017, or there is a secret project which none of us is aware of? Let’s try to collect some clues supporting the wild guess that the Surface Phone may be coming in 2016 after all, and some evidence that refutes those poorly supported beliefs.
Microsoft to end the sales of the Lumia 950 & 950 XL by the end of 2016
Redmond has started to clear the stocks of the Lumia phones, slashing their prices by half compared with the original prices at launch. You could buy a Lumia 950 right now for just $299 unlocked, via the Microsoft US store, or even for EUR 250 via retailers at Amazon Europe. With these prices, and no new devices in the factory’s pipeline, Microsoft may won’t have a single device with its own brand in stock in just a few months. Moreover, several Microsoft stores have also massively reduced the price of the 2017 Acer Liquid Jade Primo, and other models. For example, the Italian Microsoft Store is now selling the phone for just EUR 220 instead of EUR 499.
The Windows Insider chief uses an unreleased smartphone
@jeffrin1 I use 5 diff phones, including an unreleased one. I recommend that one 😛
— Dona Sarkar (@donasarkar) October 6, 2016
Dona Sarkar, the Insider program chief, has recently replied to a question on Twitter, saying that she uses 5 different phones, including an unreleased one. Which is that unreleased phone Dona is using and why she recommends that one?
Snapdragon 830 is not ready, Intel remains quiet
It wouldn’t be wise for Microsoft to release a new phone in late 2016, in times when Snapdragon 820 is getting old, and Snapdragon 830 chip is not ready yet. The new chip should debut sometime in 2017, and since it will bring many performance improvements over the current generation of phones, we doubt it’s a good idea for a Surface Phone right now. At the same time, Microsoft’s key partner – Intel, appears to have abandoned the mobile game, leaving Microsoft without a plan ‘B’. But a recent interview with PCWorld, Intel’s president of Client and IoT division, said that his company is not done with mobile processors. He said:
“On the mobile platform side, my commitment is to talk less and do more. When we have something to say, we’ll talk about it”.
So, an Intel-powered Surface Phone should not be entirely ruled out.
Remember the Surface Book
Back in 2016, nobody was expecting a Surface Book. There wasn’t any single leak or rumor about the existence of such a device, but Microsoft surprised us all at the press-conference. Could something similar happen on October 26? We won’t put money on a Surface Phone in 2016, but what if…