ASUS toying with idea of mixing Windows and Win Phone with a "Padfone" deployment

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, corporate vice president of mobile communication products at Asus, Benson Lin has revealed that the company is indeed considering Windows Phone. Unfortunately the employee also noted that such hardware has no timeline on when they'll be released to consumers. For Asus to be building Windows Phones would further add to the foundations of the platform.

The company has also put forward its "Padfone (opens in new tab)" concept for Windows. This would see an Asus Windows Phone 'dock' into a tablet device, but continuing to utilise the mobile operating system in favour of Windows RT. This unique approach would provide consumers access to not only a smartphone, but a tablet with a slight twist.

Currently Asus already has a Padfone in the market, running Android. We've already seen accessories from the like of Nokia that enable consumers dock their Windows Phones on charging stands, as well as third-party offerings and DIY projects. But to see a smartphone being able to power a tablet would be pretty special indeed.

Thanks to the closer unity between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, this provides more room for the OEM partner to wiggle. A future Windows update, codenamed "Windows Blue" is expected to push harder on integration and lessen the restrictions surrounding form factors running each version of Windows, as well as implementing a more frequent release cycle.

It'll be interesting to see how Asus advances from here on out. Will we see both devices released simultaneously, or will they launch the Windows Phone smartphone prior to the tablet and note how much demand is present? Either way, it's good news for the Windows Phone platform. More partners climbing on-board can only mean it has a future which the manufacturers would like a part of.

Source: Wall Street Journal, via: The Verge

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • I am not sure which OS are they planning to use. I mean they have already stated that they are not in favour of Windows 8 RT, and Windows Phone doesn't have a tablet mode. So a modified version of Windows 8 probably.
  • Have u ever seen the Fujitsu LOOX F-07C
  • What do you wanna imply????
  • actually, medfield from intel did pretty well and in the next couple years they are saying they will be able to ship mobile processors that are on par or better than Arm ones (both in processing power and power consumption)
    so if asus used that, they can totally run Win 8 x86 version
  • Will Microsoft let them do this is the question. This could slow RT uptake. What would be really cool is when docked it runs full Windows 8 and when pulled from the dock it loads Windows Phone. Using Intel chips of course.
  • The phone wouldn't be anything more than a jump drive...the "tablet" mode would have to have it's own processor and everything.  i know what you are saying, and pie in the sky that would be great...but you could currently achieve the same thing with having a Win Phone, a Win 8 touchscreen, SkyDrive to create a unified experience, and apps that were created for both platforms.
  • I think that Microsoft is planning to merge these two OSes into one mobile. It is even more easier to maintain. So it would be possible for Asus to make the Win PadPhone.
    Can't wait to see it. :)
  • yeah! Merge them, call them Win 9 Re-loaded and deny upgrade to both WinPhones and Win tablets/laptops running Windows/WinPhone 8! :-)
  • I thought it was going to be called blue?
  • That was the code name, But I think he was being sarcastic anyway.
  • Do you think it CANNOT happen? I got an HTC Diamond - no upgrade to 6.5, got an HTC HD2 - MS abandoned the device not providing WP7 for it, though it was possible to do it, got a Lumia 800, no WP8 for it. Unless my next Windows Phone is a gift I'll settle for an Android device, my Android tablet has just gotten its official JB update, nobody was claiming it cannot get it or should not get it being a single core device.
  • Imagine Windows Phone that turns into RT when you plug it into the monitor.
  • Personally, I'd like to see that Samsung Prototype with the folding screen Notebook. When closed the screen on the outside was the Windows Phone interface. When opened like a book it would bring up the Windows RT interface. If they can pull it off well, I would buy it in a heartbeat.
    You can see the second video in the link below.  
  • Personally, I'd like to see that Samsung Prototype with the folding screen Notebook. When closed the screen on the outside was the Windows Phone interface. When opened like a book it would bring up the Windows RT interface. If they can pull it off well, I would buy it in a heartbeat.  as long as there isn't any wear in the crease for the screen, I'd love to have it.
    You can see the idea in the video link below.  
  • YES please:)
  • Hmmmm. The black project job listing that was posted and written about earlier could lead to much speculation about this idea.
  • I tipped WPCentral On this 2 month ago.... Helloooo!!!
  • Hi.
  • Ok, hi
  • Shut up and take my money!
  • For those of us unwashed masses, help me with this one. Is a padphone a tablet you can make calls from?
  • from what i remember its a phone that is basically insterted into a tablet frame turning your phone into a tablet which then also docks onto a keyboard essentially making it a laptop
  • The Engadget comments on their article is sickening...
  • I don't even bother with Engadget anymore. They make me queasy. :(
  • Sounds retarded to me. Toss it in the pile of other silly ideas like dual screen phones and 3d phones
  • Bout' time. The Motorola Atrix paved this road years ago. As the mobile cpu power and graphics amp up we're much closer to that ultimate hybrid. Call it... "Trifecta".
  • Anything with windows8 and WINDOWSPHONE in it.. Its a buy for me... Come on nokia so something like this.. Make it cheaper though..
  • I totally started a thread about this in the forums last year...
  • Combining a tablet with a Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8?? Take my money but just using Windows Phone 8 for a tablet? I would be hesident but am sure Microsoft would beef the Windows Phone 8 up a bit or no sale from me! 
  • Actually Asus has TWO Padfones out and Padfone 3 is being prepared. They are still testing the devices and collecting opinions on what consumers want and don't. That dictated the end of the docking keyboard from Padfone 1 to Padfone 2. They've also selected the markets in which they released the Padfones to do that (I've been in Belgium, Holland and Germany last December, and none of the countries had Padfones for sale that I could find. However, we have them over here)
    Both Padfones are running ANDROID and I don't think we'll see a change in that. I've toyed with a Padfone 2 and I have to say I can see myself buying one way before I ever buy a Surface RT. The advantage of the Padfone is that it allows you to kill two birds with one stone. Instead of having two separate OS running (like WP8 and W8RT) it only has one. You dock the cellphone to the tablet and it uses the same core. It turns the phone OS into a tablet OS. Both platforms have independent batteries and if I'm not mistaken, storage space.
    So the Padfone IS actually a very good idea to me. And I like the Padfone running Android. Now, Asus is selling lots of tablets with W8, so I wouldn't be surprised if along with that they partered with Microsoft to create a tablet to which you could attach a WP8. That, of course, presents a problem though: it would require either tablets designed to every WP8 devide; or then the release of another WP. Thing is, I don't see people switching from a Nokia to an Asus phone.