Print 66 comment(s) - last by NellyFromMA.. on Oct 29 at 12:16 PM

A Surface phone is rumored

Should we be preparing ourselves for a Surface phone?  

I. You Ready for a Surface Phone?

That's what Chris Green, principal technology analyst at Davies Murphy Group Europe, claimed to BBC News.  While he says that Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) may never pull the trigger and release the device, he explains, "Microsoft is hedging its bets.  The firm is heavily invested in Nokia succeeding with its Windows Phone handsets but can't allow for its failure to torpedo the platform.  At the very least Microsoft will be developing its own handset to go to market in case Nokia and others don't do better."

That's essentially what Microsoft did with Surface, a 10.6-inch Windows RT-powered tablet.  After watching its partners flounder in the tablet industry, thoroughly outsold by a savvy Apple, Inc. (AAPL), Microsoft sprang into action announcing its own first party hardware.

The results have been mixed.

While there was much initial enthusiasm, Microsoft faced tough questions about its hardware decisions and pricing (though to be fair Apple has seen its own recent hardware choices scrutinized).  And preliminary reviews were hot and cold, arguing the device was unbeatable by some metrics, but rather flawed by others.

Microsoft Surface phone
Microsoft hinted that a Surface Phone might be incoming. [Image Source: Softpedia]

But Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer tells BBC News that his company won't shy away from trying to "set a new standard" in hardware markets where it sees its partners struggling.  He comments, "Is it fair to say we're going to do more hardware? Obviously we are... Where we see important opportunities to set a new standard, yeah we'll dive in."

"We have committed ourselves on a path where we will do whatever is required from both a hardware and a software innovation perspective and the cloud innovation perspective in order to propel the vision that we have."

II. Microsoft Entrance Scares Some Struggling OEMs

The promise of Microsoft "diving in" is alarming to some OEMs.  Taiwan's Acer, Inc. (TPE:2353"warned" Microsoft to reconsider the Surface tablet.  In an interview its CEO JT Wang commented, "We have said [to Microsoft] think it over.  Think twice. It will create a huge negative impact for the ecosystem and other brands may take a negative reaction. It is not something you are good at so please think twice."

But Acer is not exactly the most self-assured PC maker out there.  Mr. Wang described the build quality of his company's own products last year as "cheap", bemoaning how "unprofitable" his firm was.

More confident firms seem less worried about Surface phones or tablets.

Dell headquarters
Dell says it's fine with Microsoft making its own tablet. [Image Source: TMG Buzz]

Dell, Inc. (DELL) VP Kirk Schell views the Surfaces as an opportunity to introduce customers to the promise of Windows 8, which will in turn drive his company's sales.  He remarks, "The announcement of Surface was necessary to have a proof of concept and to get people excited about what was coming to push application development and create some buzz out there. They've invested so much in Windows 8 it was important to make it work, so I felt Surface was the logical thing to do."

III. Nokia on Surface Phone: "Great!"

When asked about the prospect of a surface phone, former Microsoft Canada executive Stephen Elop -- now the CEO of Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V) -- offered praise for the idea.  He commented, "[It would be] a stimulant to the ecosystem."

It's possible Microsoft could partner with a third party to produce its vision in the form of Microsoft-branded hardware; if so Nokia would likely be a leading candidate.  That's the approach Google Inc. (GOOG) -- like Microsoft, a software company at its roots -- used to promote Android tablets/smartphones, via its Google-branded "Nexus" devices.

But it's possible that Microsoft will simply design the devices on its own.  As it has shown with the Surface tablet and the Xbox/Xbox 360, Microsoft has evolved into a company thoroughly capable of producing its own intriguing third party hardware.

Microsoft isn't looking to leave its treasured OEM partners behind.  In fact much of its own Surface tablet launch event was dedicated to promoting its OEM's Windows 8 designs, designs which are technically rival's of the event's star attraction.  Talking about Windows 8 and Surface Mr. Ballmer stated, "This is one of two or three big moments in Microsoft's history."

Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer called the launch of Windows 8/Surface a top moment in Microsoft's history. [Image Source: Getty Images]

Big indeed, but Microsoft isn't looking to usurp its partner OEMs quite yet, although it's clearly unafraid to give them a friendly push.

Sources: BBC News, Nokia [Surface Phone discussion]

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: After all these years.....
By Mitch101 on 10/25/2012 9:32:01 PM , Rating: 2
Consider Apple has managed to SUE or anger just about every company they work with at some point it will come back to haunt them.

RE: After all these years.....
By Tony Swash on 10/26/2012 12:29:11 PM , Rating: 1
Consider Apple has managed to SUE or anger just about every company they work with at some point it will come back to haunt them.

Dream on.

Try to think like a fully mature adult. This is the world of global business and it involves hundreds of billions of dollars. This is not a pissing contest between adolescents. Apple's supply chain is vast, it involves thousands of companies and Apple make purchases approaching a value of a hundred billion dollars per year. Apple are generally acknowledged as having the best organised and managed supply chain on the planet. Nothing will stop thousands of companies queuing up to join that gravy train.

The notion that Apple will be brought down in some sort of Jujutsu move arising from the bad karma that it has generated is a recurring fantasy amongst iPhobes. It is never going to happen. The only way Apple will be beaten is if other companies make products that prove more popular and more profitable than Apple's and thus erode Apple's business. There is no sign of that happening and you know in your own heart what a remote possibility that is - hence the need for a feel good daydream about Apple being 'haunted'.

RE: After all these years.....
By Mitch101 on 10/26/2012 5:26:21 PM , Rating: 2
Korea Times: Samsung will no longer supply displays to Apple

Korea Times says that Samsung is no longer satisfied with the “huge price discounts” that Apple is demanding. The price per pixel has more than halved from the iPad 2 to the iPad 3, and Samsung is not happy about it. The Cupertino-based company is well-known throughout the industry for its hard bargaining tactics, which Apple is able to use due to its huge volumes and clout.

To replace the lost business from Apple, Samsung Display will reportedly sell more panels to the handset division of Samsung Electronics (its sister company) and Amazon.

RE: After all these years.....
By Insurgence on 10/26/2012 6:23:31 PM , Rating: 2
so, that is just Samsung. Samsung may be a major player, but they are far from being the only player. Apple still has a long way to go before it pisses everyone off. By the time they get to the point of no return, they will most likely have mended fences with some of the first ones. It is the cycle of the industry.

RE: After all these years.....
By Tony Swash on 10/26/2012 7:28:31 PM , Rating: 1
Samsung and Apple are getting a divorce. So what? That's been obvious for quite a while now. When the dust settles and the divorce is finalised what will things look like?

Apple - business as usual.

Samsung - minus it's largest customer

Apple have been ramping up the scale of their business at a very high rate for several years, doubling iPhone production every year, as well as adding new product lines like the iPad. They can do this by managing a very forward looking supply chain strategy and the 100 billion bucks they have in the bank helps.

Dreaming that somehow lots of other companies will get together to ruin their own businesses and make a lot less profit just so they can make life difficult for Apple in order to make a few obsessed iPhobes happy is a fantasy of megalomaniac proportions.

Fantasies are fun but real life is more interesting.

RE: After all these years.....
By Mitch101 on 10/27/2012 12:49:53 PM , Rating: 2
What big boys really do when they have large cash reserves is BUY companies.

Samsung/Google/Apple/Microsoft have enough cash that they could start buying companies that would impede the others.

Microsoft is well known for buying companies its smart for either products or patent portfolios.

Intel has even done it buying a wafer manufacturer.

Google hasn't been smart enough to do it up front instead they blame other companies and the patent system. Buying Motorola kept them from being out of the smartphone business. Its why they also pay so much in royalties.

Samsung doesn't need to but they can.

Apple isnt known to they like to steal.

A lot can change and happen if you have cash and use to against your competition.

RE: After all these years.....
By Reclaimer77 on 10/27/2012 1:45:30 PM , Rating: 1
Google hasn't been smart enough to do it up front instead they blame other companies and the patent system.

Siiigh, Mitch...

"Google is a computer software and a web search engine company that has been acquiring, on average, more than one company per week since 2010."

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

Latest Headlines
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
The Samsung Galaxy S7
September 14, 2016, 6:00 AM
Apple Watch 2 – Coming September 7th
September 3, 2016, 6:30 AM
Apple says “See you on the 7th.”
September 1, 2016, 6:30 AM

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Laptop or Tablet - Which Do You Prefer?
September 20, 2016, 6:32 AM
Update: Samsung Exchange Program Now in Progress
September 20, 2016, 5:30 AM
Smartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki