At least, that’s what a report from Windows Central’s Daniel Rubino suggests. Citing “sources close to Microsoft’s plans,” Rubino reports that any Microsoft-branded Surface Phone won’t appear until sometime in 2017.
The last major flagship phone – the Lumia 950 – which runs Windows 10 Mobile was released in November. A handful of other Windows 10 Mobile devices have launched over the last few months.
Microsoft is hoping its OEM partners will pick up the slack over the course of the next year or so. Beyond that, it looks like Microsoft will be formerly ditching the Lumia branding.
According to Windows Central, Microsoft is hoping to restart its hardware efforts next year, after the software (Windows 10 Mobile) has had more time to mature.
When the phones do launch, Rubino reports that early plans indicate that Microsoft is hoping to release three different models, each aimed at a different type of user:
As a result, it looks like Microsoft will be leaving the lower-end segment where Windows Phone had success a few years ago.
If you think about it, that makes sense – especially in the context of “Surface” branding. The Surface RT (shudder) notwithstanding, Microsoft has made that brand premium. If lower-end phones are going to exist in Windows 10 Mobile, they should probably be made by people who aren’t Microsoft.