Microsoft might be working on no less than three Surface Phone variants for launch by 2017, sources owing allegiance to Windows Central have revealed.
It might come as a surprise to many considering that it was only recently during the Build 2016 event that the Surface maker had stated Windows Phone wouldn’t be the focus this year before picking up the threads again in 2017. In any case, a Surface Phone was always rumored for release around early 2017. However, that seems to have been re-adjusted a bit to include three models now, one each for the consumer, business, and enthusiast.
The above can also be considered to be in line with the long-term vision that Nadella has spelt out in July 2015. Therein, the chief had stressed on narrowing the focus on three segments – business users, value phone buyers and flagship devices for the Windows enthusiasts.
This might also mark the end of the Lumia brand as we have known so far. The Lumia 650 has been launched in February and is just beginning to reach newer markets, which includes the US, Canada, and India besides Europe where it has been on sale for a few weeks now. However, it seems the 650 will be the last of the Lumias before the Surface Phone kicks in.
Also, with the Surface division maintaining a certain standard which clearly does not include the lower end of the market, speculation is rife that Microsoft might not be representing the budget segment of the mobile market. As such, that could still be left to the Lumias or for the OEM partners to expand their footprint.
Interestingly, it’s the budget and mid-range segment where the volumes lie and happen to be the biggest contributor to the Android growth story.
As for alleged Surface Phones, what is likely is that all of them will be continuum ready while the flagship and/or corporate version will include stylus support, thanks to Windows Ink.
Microsoft might also be partnering with Intel with any version of the Surface Phone. It was earlier reported that the Surface Pro 5 and Surface Book 2 will be delayed until Spring 2017 to wait for Redstone 2 to be ready while Intel also perfects its Kaby Lake chips by that time.
In the meantime, current Lumia owners, or for that matter owners of Windows phones, can look forward to the Redstone 1 release that is also being referred to as the Anniversary Edition and is due out in summer.
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