Microsoft is releasing three versions of Surface series smartphones, each targeted to specific needs of customers. The handsets are rumored to become available in the first half quarter of 2017. Here's the latest round round-update about Microsoft Surface phones release date, specs and rumors on the web.
Windows Central reported the three variants of Surface smartphones are aimed at mass-market consumers, business people and "prosumer," or hardcore tech enthusiasts. Each model has different hardware features in terms of internal storage, display, processor and RAM. Also, the lineup will have different price tags.
If this rumor is true, it reflects the plans of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella about the future of Windows phones. In a letter he wrote to employees in 2015, the CEO said he wants to narrow the company's focus to "three customer segments," where each has a specific combination of hardware and software.
Furthermore, Nadella added the next flagship devices would have the best security system, productivity features, and top-class communications services.
As of now, Microsoft has not yet released any details about the specifications of Surface lineup. But International Business Times reported the smartphones might have Microsoft's Pen technology. It is also rumored the lineup might feature Continuum, which is present in Lumia 950.
For the processors of the Surface lineup, the same source from Windows Central said the devices might have Intel's next-gen Core processors, codenamed Kaby Lake. The processor might help the devices to support 3D graphics and 4K video playback.
The 2017 Surface phones might also run on Windows 10 Redstone 2 right out of the box.
Meanwhile, for customers who are waiting for budget models of Surface phones, Microsoft has not yet announced if they are planning to reach the low-end market, which is currently dominated by Android phones and other phone makers like Xiaomi and Huawei.
The 2017 launching of Surface phones is still a long time, but for Windows 10 mobile fans, they can have high-end devices like Alcatel's Idol 4 Pro, Acer Jade Primo and HP Elite x3 before that period.
In related news, Fortune reported the development of Surface phones could also signal the end of Lumia smartphone line. In Microsoft's quarterly earnings call in January, the company said only 4.5 million Lumia phones were sold during the fourth quarter of 2015, a decrease by 57% from the 10.5 million sold in the same period of 2014.