Microsoft "planning own-brand smartphones"
Posted on 22 Jun 2012 at 08:22
Microsoft is considering making its own smartphone to kickstart sales of its Windows Phone software, according to a Wall Street analyst who has followed the company for many years.
"Our industry sources tell us that Microsoft may be working with a contract manufacturer to develop its own handset for Windows Phone 8," wrote Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund in a note to clients.
"It is unclear to us whether this would be a reference platform or whether this may be a go-to market Microsoft-branded handset," wrote Sherlund, who covered the company for Goldman Sachs when the bank brought Microsoft public in 1986.
Microsoft wouldn't confirm or deny the speculation. A spokesman said the company was a "big believer in our hardware partners and together we're focused on bringing Windows Phone 8 to market this year".
Microsoft can't afford not to have phones sell. They have to find a way of selling it
Windows Phone 8 is the latest version of Microsoft's mobile software, set for release in autumn. So far, the software giant has struggled to make a mark, with Windows-powered smartphones taking only 2% of a worldwide market dominated by Apple’s iPhone and devices running Google Android system.
Echoes of Surface
Microsoft charted a new course this week by announcing two own-branded tablet PCs, although doubts remain whether that was a move to invigorate hardware makers or a genuine attempt to compete with its partners.
A similar move in phones could make sense, and the company has little to lose by trying its own handset, said another analyst, considering the strategic importance of smartphones and poor sales of Windows phones.
"Microsoft can't afford not to have phones sell. It has to find a way of selling it," said Sid Parakh, an analyst at fund firm McAdams Wright Ragen. "It's a significant piece of its long-term vision of integrated devices."
If Microsoft did make its own phone, it would be a blow for struggling Finnish handset maker Nokia, which pledged to use Windows software in its smartphones under a multi-billion dollar pact last year. If Microsoft wanted to be in the handset business, it might even consider buying Nokia, suggested Parakh, although he said that was unlikely.
Let's just hope it' better than Zune
Otherwise it's just going to be embarrassing.
By qpw3141 on 22 Jun 2012
Aren't Microsoft essentially making their own phones already now that they've got one of their guys in charge of Nokia.
By peterm2k on 22 Jun 2012
Let's hope it's better than the Kin
By petermillard1 on 22 Jun 2012
Typical 'analyst' speculation
Remember 'Analysts' exist in Financial organisations to sell stuff\ influence markets favourably for their masters.
Having said that this is a truly delicious speculation to indulge. Contrary to large numbers of people I believe thet by the (quite low) standards that obtain in modern business, MS is quite an 'ethical' company. Therefore I doubt it would do anything that might further destabilise NOKIA given the way that NOKIA has put itself on the line for MS. I also agree with others that given this relationship, making its own 'phone would be analogous to having a dog, and barking oneself (it IS Jubilee year!).
So returning to my opening paragraph I suspect that we'll get to the root of this conundrum if we "Follow the money".
By wittgenfrog on 22 Jun 2012
I tend to agree but MS could simply badge engineer a phone made from them by Nokia.
They would both win. Nokia for shifting (probably) more phones, and MS for getting more Windows phones on the market.
By qpw3141 on 22 Jun 2012
- Hands on with the new Google Maps
- Nokia Lumia 925 review: first look
- Why I won't subscribe to Creative Cloud
- GoPro camera strapped to a remote-control helicopter: the ultimate boy's toy
- Acer Iconia A1 review: first look
- Acer Aspire P3 review: first look
- Acer Aspire R7 review: first look
- How we produce the PC Pro podcast
- Google Now draining iPhone battery
- The government website that doesn't work with IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Macs or smartphones
- How to fix Facebook: Social Fixer
- Taking the stress out of WordPress updates
- Where to download free web fonts
- Turn your tablet into a Sky+ remote control
- How to measure the success of a new IT system
- Three years on: the state of the tablet market
- Windows 8: what works and what doesn't
- Yes, I write down my passwords
- How to make money from apps
- Hack your own radio transmitter