Microsoft is building its own smartphone, a new report suggests. It's currently in the testing phase with Asian component suppliers, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cites "people familiar with the situation."
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In an interview with Mashable this week at Microsoft's Build developer conference, Todd Brix, senior director for Windows Phone Apps and Store, said, "We have nothing to talk about our own phone. We're very happy with all of our partners."
Microsoft building its own phone makes sense in the context of the Surface, a Microsoft-designed and -manufactured tablet the company unveiled in the summer. Microsoft also managed to keep the Surface a total secret until right before the launch.
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Other people involved with Microsoft's Windows Phone division told Mashable that if the company was indeed working on a phone, that it was being kept even more top secret than the Surface.
Microsoft's introduction of the Surface has irked some of the company's hardware partners, and some have even publicly voiced their displeasure over Microsoft becoming a competitor. With regard to mobile, a Microsoft-branded phone has the potential to jeopardize the company's relationship with Nokia and HTC, both of which have developed hardware specifically for Windows Phone. Nokia has, in fact, tied its very survival to Windows Phone (HTC also makes Android devices).
The Journal report says the phone Microsoft is rumored to be testing has a screen that measures between 4 and 5 inches. The anonymous parties who shared this information said the phone may actually be a testing model, with no plans for it to go into production.
It's not a crazy idea. Microsoft sets much tighter hardware guidelines for Windows Phone than Google does for Android, where varied design and interface overlays are commonplace. Microsoft may be building a phone to serve as a template for the next generation of Windows Phone software rather than a device it actually intends to market.
What do you think about the rumor of a Microsoft-branded Windows phone? Share your thoughts in the comments.
BONUS: The HTC Windows Phone 8X
HTC Windows Phone 8X
HTC has said that the 8X was inspired by the Windows Phone Start Screen, and is designed to look like a live tile if a tile was a physical thing.
With that thought in mind, the phone will be available in a number of different colors – Flame Red, California Blue, Limelight Yellow and Graphite Black – colors that match some of the tile color options available in Windows Phone 8.
This story originally published on Mashable here.