Towards the latter stages of last year, it was rumored that Microsoft was working on the so-called 'Surface Phone'. Though murmurings of such a device can be traced back as far as 2012, the more recent reports suggested the elusive handset would arrive early this year. Soon thereafter, reports were touting a late-2016 arrival Surface Phone -- one perhaps packing Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 processor. Given that Redmond's head is not in the game as far as mobile is concerned, it should come as little surprise that the Surface Phone has been pushed back once more; apparently on ice until some point next year.
The pre-existing Surface range has been a great success for Microsoft, with the higher-end Pro models considered the gold standard for professional tablet hybrids. It would make sense, then, for a range of smartphones to utilize the popular Surface branding and help the Windows maker stake a more substantial claim to the mobile industry.
According to Windows Central, there could be three different configurations of Surface Phone upon launch in 2017. Though nothing sounds too concrete for now, it would seem that Microsoft plans to divert attention away from the Lumia branding, which it inherited when it purchased Nokia's Devices and Services division back in 2013.
Of the three purported editions, one will allegedly be focused toward the general consumer, one for 'prosumers' or enthusiasts (read: geeks), and a third model aimed at enterprise. One or all of the Surface Phone models may include Microsoft Pen technology, though as you can imagine, details are pretty scarce at present
By pushing things back, it is thought that Microsoft will have time to concentrate on strengthening Windows 10 Mobile, whilst also allowing OEM partners to come through with new devices. Armed with a probable trio of new Surface Phones, a bunch of new handsets from its manufacturing allies and a better mobile platform, the company will then hope to tackle the market with a little more gusto than it has over the last couple of years.
Is 2017 too late for Microsoft to try and salvage its lagging mobile business? Let us know below.