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Microsoft Surface Phone: What We Know So Far

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PHOTOGRAPH: Kiko Antonio |

Perhaps one of the most anticipated products from Microsoft apart from the Surface Pro 5 is the Surface Phone. Many experts had speculated that the phone was to be released last year. However, the Microsoft event has come and gone and still the Surface Phone is nowhere to be found.

It has been more than a year since the first news of the Windows phone replacement surfaced the Internet. For a long time now, Windows and Microsoft fans have been fantasizing its release and there have been a lot of supposed leaks for the phone.

Surface Phone as Windows Phone replacement

A recent SEC filing from Microsoft seems to suggest that the company is finally done with Windows Phone. In fact, the said government filing revealed that the company only generated five million dollars in revenue for anything phone related. This is a stark contrast from the same quarter of the previous year of $735 million.

Because of Microsoft’s failed attempts to revamp the Windows Phone line, the company has already written the product off for its upcoming quarter report. Amy Hood, Microsoft’s CFO, even sort of eulogized the said phone and said that the company is not expecting any revenue from mobile sales in the coming months.

Microsoft is ditching Windows Phone in exchange of Surface Phone

Nokia Lumia Window Phone (via microsoft.com)

To anyone expecting to see the Surface Phone later this year, these pronouncements may seem ominous. For one, the company has already accepted the fact that it will not be selling any mobile device for some months.

Secondly, the recent decline in Surface product sales is also somewhat alarming. Compared to the previous quarter, Microsoft’s sales on laptops and tablets fell by 25 percent. This probably has something to do with Microsoft being behind the tech curve when it comes to releasing products equipped with the new Kaby Lake processors.

On the subject of Surface Phone, Microsoft did not, however, confirm nor deny anything about its cessation. In fact, the topic was left open ended. What Microsoft said on the legal document is that it will still continue investing in future research and development. Only the bit where the Windows Phone was mentioned on the second quarter of 2017 was omitted on the third quarter.

Surface Phone specs

For now, the reports about the Surface Phone specifications are varied. Initial reports suggest that the phone will have a Snapdragon 835 on board. There was even a report saying that it might feature a full-fledged Intel Mobile processor. However, the consensus right now is with the Qualcomm-made ARM chip.

As for the memory, there are various reports last year that suggest the Surface Phone will come in three different memory variants. The entry-level version will have 4GB of RAM and 6GB for the developer’s edition. On the other hand, the enterprise edition of the phone is said to carry as much as 8GB of RAM. Unfortunately, there are no solid proofs to validate these claims apart from the fact that Microsoft has already ported the Windows 10 operating system to run on a Snapdragon chip.

Windows 10 and Snapdragon

There is no denying that the efforts Microsoft is putting on the Windows 10 operating system will soon be a game changer. The news already garnered a lot of interest especially to Surface tablet fans. This is due to the fact that during the Microsoft presentation in China last year, the company has demoed a tablet running on a Snapdragon 821 chip.

Since the Windows 10 on a Snapdragon chip is not really that far off, there are more circumstantial evidence that the Surface Phone might indeed sport a Snapdragon 835 chip. For a premium Microsoft phone, there is very little merit in having a subpar processor to power its needs.

Surface Phone design

For months now, the rumor mill about the Surface Phone has been going on. Many images have been leaked pertaining to the actual design of the phone. Some details even go as far as saying the the Surface Phone will sport a foldable OLED display.

These rumors were probably brought about by the recent patent filing from Microsoft detailing the design of a foldable mobile device. Unfortunately, that is just what it is, a patent filing. There is no concrete evidence that the company is indeed working on the said design at the moment.

Redstone 3 and supposed release date

For now, most dates for the supposed release of the Surface Phone point to sometime before the end of 2017. As to when that exactly is, the answers are varied. Some experts believe that Microsoft could possibly unveil the new mobile device in October.

This prediction is based on rumors that Microsoft is due to release Redstone 3 during the same month. According to Windows Central, Windows 10 Redstone 3 will introduce a whole plethora of changes on the operating system.

One of these supposed changes has a lot to do with Microsoft’s efforts in porting the operating system to ARM ecosystem. As mentioned, Microsoft has already demoed the ARM version of Windows 10. It was done during the last Windows Hardware Engineers Conference in China. In addition to this, there is also that much talked about Project NEON which will bring in fluidity and a bit of flair to the user interface.

Microsoft is ditching Windows Phone in exchange of Surface Phone

Project NEON (via mspoweruser.com)

Ultimate mobile device

With all of these, it may seem that Microsoft is not really in a hurry to release the Surface Phone. One of the tell tale signs is the statement that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella left out back in 2016. According to Nadella, he does not want Microsoft to simply compete with major market players with standard off-the-shelf products. Instead, he envisions that company to develop and release the ultimate mobile device for the consumers.

There is still no telling on when the Surface Phone will be out in the market. Microsoft has indeed put a lot of efforts in keeping all the information pertaining to the phone within the company. Perhaps the only thing that can be done now is to wait and see as to what Microsoft has in store for its customers.

For more updates on the Microsoft Surface Phone, be sure to check with us at TheBitbag.

Also Read: Microsoft Surface Pro 5: What We Know So Far

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