Microsoft Surface Phone Release Date: Possible Manufacturer and Variants Explored

The Microsoft Surface Phone continues to create more questions than answers. The company still doesn't have anything to show to its dwindling number of Microsoft phone fans. Nonetheless, the interest of mobile news watchers has been captured. After the Surface Pro and Surface Studio, what will Microsoft unveil as their "most ultimate mobile device," and when?

REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/The logo of Microsoft is pictured in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Sources have weighed in on the Surface Phone's possible late 2017 launch, with at least one informant claiming that the company will hold off until the Redstone 3 development cycle is done, which is sometime in Sept. 2017. This will also be in time for Microsoft's Oct. 2017 event.

The Windows 10 Mobile Redstone 3 update will bring two important features: 64-Bit Architecture and X86-on-ARM64 Emulation. The first will enable the phones to use more than 4 GB of memory, and the second feature will potentially let the devices run Windows PC applications.

Also, there have been claims that the Taiwanese electronics firm, Pegatron, has been tapped as the original device manufacturer (ODM) for the Surface Phone. Pegatron, which previously manufactured the Surface Studio for Microsoft, can start trial production at any time, the report adds.

Previous reports tell of prototypes built with the new Snapdragon 835 and support Quick charging 4.0. Based on estimates, sources also claim a possible 5.5-inch quad high-definition (QHD) display for the prototype. Like the Surface, it is claimed that Microsoft wants the same three-in-one form factor for the phone.

A rumor reported on Weibo, as shared by Nokiapoweruser, claims of finding information on three Surface Phone variants. One is supposed to have 3 GB random-access memory (RAM) and 32 GB storage, the next has 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage, and the last has 8 GB RAM and 500 GB storage. These variants are reported to run a build of Windows 10 Mobile Redstone 3 already. However, these ones are built with Snapdragon 830. Three different variants might correspond to three price tiers, the report concludes.

Late last year Chris Capossela, the company's chief marketing officer (CMO) has made clear that the plan is to create a "brand-new category of Mobile device" for others to follow, citing this as the future of Windows Phones. Earlier than that, Microsoft chief executive officer (CEO) Satya Nadella already reiterated the company's focus — discovering and building the "most ultimate mobile device." Microsoft, Nadella emphasizes, will not be doing as the phone market leaders do; instead, the company will focus on what is unique to Microsoft.