With the relative popularity and, only recently, financial success of the Surface Pro tablets have had many fans clamoring for applying that same design and ideals to a flagship smartphone. Years have passed and Microsoft did launch a new flagship, but the Lumia 950 and its larger 950 XL brother is a far cry from the Surface Phone many have been dreaming about. There have been early rumors of a Surface Phone already in the works, but, according to Windows Central, that’s completely dead. To be replaced by a new Surface Phone rumor, of course.
At this point, even the source is as undecided on what the smartphone might have and not have. The earlier Surface Phone was rumored to run on an Intel processor, much like an ASUS ZenFone 2, and have the same metal design as the Surface Pro tablet. According to those sources, that prototype has been scrapped but that doesn’t mean that the idea has been thrown away as well.
Intel is said to still be involved but its role has yet to be determined. Although an Intel CPU might be ones first guess, Intel also has modems that have no problem working with CPUs from other vendors or even architectures. An x86 Surface Phone might indeed be more interesting since it opens the possibility of running regular win32 apps as well as “Universal Apps”. But, unlike the SyncPhone spiel, Microsoft is most likely to use Windows 10 Mobile as the primary OS there, perhaps allowing win32 apps to run only when in Continuum mode.
As for the material that will make up the phone’s body, that is pretty much up in the air at this point. The Surface Pro is all about premium metal, magnesium even. But so far Microsoft has shown on inkling to do the same for its smartphones. It had the chance to do that with the Lumia 950/950 XL but refused to budge. On the other hand, a plastic Surface Phone would be seen as a critical flaw.
If there’s any truth to these rumors, there’s a chance that a Surface Phone might be ready to debut by Fall next year, instead of the May 2016 date the earlier prototype would have made. This would coincide with a yearly device release cycle, if Microsoft is indeed adopting such a rhythm. Until then, let a thousand Surface Phone rumors bloom.