The rumor mill has speculated Microsoft will launch a Surface Phone since about 2016. Yet, for all the rumors, Microsoft has never confirmed that it plans to release a Surface Phone. Now Microsoft chief Mr. Panay has effectively stated that his company does not intend to release a Surface Phone.
Mr. Panay discussed Surface devices in a Wired podcast after Microsoft revealed the Surface Go last week. During that podcast, he was asked about a potential Surface Phone. The Microsoft chief replied:
I wouldn’t say that it includes a Surface Phone. I think you have to think about where is that unmet need when you’re thinking about your product road-map.
Thus, Mr. Panay effectively killed off a multitude of Surface Phone rumors within a few seconds during the Wired podcast. The rumor mill had speculated that Andromeda, the codename for a Microsoft mobile device, would be a Surface Phone. However, Mr. Panay’s Wired podcast blows away such notions by confirming that a Surface Phone will not see the light of day.
However, Mr. Panay’s podcast does not extinguish other Andromeda rumors. During the podcast, Mr. Panay confirmed that new mobile form factors are what Microsoft is really planning to release in the foreseeable future. Mr. Panay stated:
Of course we’re always inventing, of course we’re thinking about new form factors. The way people will communicate in the future will change. The form factors will wrap around that.
Many had previously speculated that Microsoft would release Andromeda in 2018. However, Microsoft has now reputedly postponed Andromeda until 2019 at least – but that does not mean canceled. Microsoft might still need more time to get the hardware and software combination just right for Andromeda. Mr. Panay’s recent podcast further highlights that the software giant still has big plans for new mobile form factors.
What exactly that new form factor might be is still open to debate. However, numerous patents highlight that Microsoft has explored the idea of a foldable mobile device with dual-screen display. A foldable mobile device could be a 2-in-1 tablet and phone that becomes a tablet when you unfold it. One unofficial design concept for Andromeda has shown us a 3-in-1 phone, tablet and miniature laptop. Another recent design concept showed an Andromeda device with a gaming and laptop mode.
So, Andromeda might still be on the cards; but it will not be a Surface Phone. Andromeda could instead be a revolutionary mobile device with an entirely new form factor. You can check out this article for further Andromeda details.