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Why Apple's rumored $1,000 iPhone would be good for Microsoft

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MS logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Apple, Samsung, and 4K-camera manufacturer RED are poised to release new smartphones in the coming months that cost much more than $1,000. While opening a new premium market will cause a lot of haranguing, the move is good for Microsoft, which is likely to follow in 2018 when it may re-enter the mobile market.

The question is not if consumers will pay that much for mobile technology – they will – but just how long will it be before all manufacturers are on board with ultra-premium mobile hardware?

A Surface for your pocket

Reports from our internal sources suggest that Microsoft is on track to re-enter the mobile smartphone market sometime in 2018, possibly in the first half of the year. Rumors of a "Surface phone" are as old as rumors of new Star Wars sequels, with the caveat that the latter is actually happening.

Nonetheless, Microsoft has gone on record numerous times to say it is not finished with the mobile space and that it will re-enter the category with a new type of device. Presumably, the company won't call it a phone to distance itself both from high-end competitors such as Samsung and Apple, and its depressed history in the smartphone arena.

Microsoft Surface is about gaining mindshare not being affordable.

While bits of the Surface mobile device are trickling out – it will likely have a foldable display making it part tablet, part phablet like what they use in the HBO show Westworld with full Windows 10 – one thing we do know is it will not be cheap.

The Surface brand has always been a premium one, for multiple reasons. For one, they are just high-end devices with exceptional precision engineering, but also because Microsoft is not poised to undercut its PC partners. Microsoft Surface is about setting an example. They are aspirational devices and are not about gaining significant market share. Gaining mindshare, however, is vital.

Why the Windows 10 'Creators Update' should inspire PC makers

Tech seen in HBO's Westworld and SyFy's The Expanse could be right around the corner, but for a price.

Tech seen in HBO's Westworld and SyFy's The Expanse could be right around the corner, but for a price.

Assuming Redmond releases a hybrid Windows 10 and a cellular device that sports a pen and foldable display, pricing would have to start at $1,000 and go higher once storage and processor configurations are taken into account.

The problem should be obvious for Microsoft. Smartphones are currently falling below $1,000, peaking at the $899 mark. Were the company to bust on the scene – especially after failed attempts in the past – with a phone-like device costing over $1,000 the PR would be disastrous.

Luckily, it is looking like Microsoft won't have to go first.

RED's Hydrogen One and Apple's new iPhone set the premium path

In July 2017, high-end camera company RED suddenly announced it was taking preorders for its new smartphone dubbed the Hydrogen One. Not only does RED have zero experience in making phones, but without even a press event or showing what the device looks like, the company started taking preorders.

Render of RED's Hydrogen One smartphone, starting at $1,200.

Render of RED's Hydrogen One smartphone, starting at $1,200.

The price? The aluminum model sets you back $1,195, while the titanium edition is a whopping $1,595. Those charges could go up with the note on the ordering page that "current pricing is available for a limited time only."

Yikes.

Make no mistake, we are entering the ultra-premium zone of smart mobile devices.

Featuring some form of Android, a high-end camera, and a "mold shattering" holographic display, the RED Hydrogen One could be a massive entrance for the famed hardware company. Or not. No one knows as the company has no history of making gear in this form factor.

The alleged iPhone 8 (center) with iPhone 7 and Plus flanking, in renders published by iDrop News.

The alleged iPhone 8 (center) with iPhone 7 and Plus flanking, in renders published by iDrop News.

Apple, meanwhile, will reportedly sell a new iPhone this fall in the $1,200 range. Rumors suggest a near-bezel-less display, wireless charging, facial recognition, and more. While all that technology has been around for years, we've all heard the joke that it doesn't count until Apple "invents it for the first time."

None of this is coincidence as ultra-premium mobile is happening.

Samsung is also rumored to be getting in on the high-end market with a forthcoming Galaxy Note 8 that could cost $1,000.

While low-end and mid-range smartphones will continue to permeate the market (and sell the most inventory), make no mistake, we are entering the ultra-premium zone of smart mobile devices.

Why expensive mobile makes sense

Just a few years ago, smartphones were niche when most users were still adopting standard feature phones that cost $199. In 2017, you would be viewed as a Luddite if you sported a flip phone without an OS.

Thanks to Apple and Samsung the creeping $799 and higher smartphone has gone mainstream.

As mobile technology continues to receive substantial investment, new more powerful processors are created, and 4G LTE becomes ubiquitous, suddenly the smartphone is now the centerpiece for many people's daily computing.

The same momentum is happening in gaming, too, with custom desktop PC makers selling $5,000 rigs with extreme cooling and light mods. Microsoft is pushing console prices higher for its premium 4K Xbox One X, something that gaming media said was not acceptable. There are now $3,000 OLED 4K 65-inch TVs, $250 thermostats, $200 doorbells, $80,000 electric cars, and a $3,000 holographic headset from Microsoft.

Lenovo's foldable screen technology being demoed in July 2017.

While some of this momentum will seem unfair to the financially struggling masses, ultimately the idea of trickle-down works in technology. I just wrote about a $300 laptop that has the same display resolution as the Surface Pro. A PC with nearly five million pixels is something that in 2012 you couldn't even get at the high-end. Now, it's common.

Likewise, tech companies in China and Hong Kong, like OnePlus and Huawei, are proving that premium budget devices are possible, too.

Finally, we can summarize the future trends in mobile and smartphone computing like this:

  • Ultra-premium mobile devices that start at $1,000 and higher will enter the market in late 2017, become more mainstream in 2018
  • Phablets are just regular phones now, but the continued blurring of smartphones, tablets, and laptops will accelerate
  • Apple and Google (via Android) are a part of this paradigm shift with Microsoft already building an ecosystem for it
  • Mobile hardware is getting powerful enough to begin challenging Ultrabook-level computing
  • Cloud computing and AI (the "edge") will begin to play a more substantial role so that mobile devices can offload processing to hosted solutions

Years ago, when banter about a "Surface phone" began making the rounds the biggest hurdles to such device were the anemic hardware available and the assumed extravagant pricing (compared to smartphones). Interestingly, the market itself is now shifting creating a landscape much more conducive and beneficial to these new concepts. It's not just Microsoft either as Apple and manufacturers of Android devices are adjusting appropriately too.

Ultra-premium mobile is coming, so get ready

It may be a good thing that Microsoft is not first to market. Coming out of nowhere with a pocketable device that costs beyond $1,000 would be a tough sell, no matter how good it was.

With Apple going first, Microsoft will have an easier time wooing customers back.

With Apple, Samsung, and even RED setting the stage for ultra-premium hardware, however, Microsoft will have a softer landing whenever it decides to try and woo customers back. Even then, Redmond's struggle will be significant (maybe even insurmountable), but at least sticker shock at the price won't be a top critique. By then, the market will already be used to such premium releases. Consumers will be softened to accept that people will buy a $1,200 "phone" even if they cannot afford it.

Samsung is working on foldable display technology that won't be cheap.

Samsung is working on foldable display technology that won't be cheap.

Instead of commentary lamenting the price of Microsoft's new mobile ambitions, you will see articles comparing it to whatever Samsung, Apple, and even RED is offering. That's a more attractive narrative.

Whether you choose to buy whatever Microsoft comes out with, or you opt for Apple, RED, or Samsung, we're about to enter a new area for mobile technology where laptops, phablets, and smartphones finally merge, and that's exciting no matter which company you want to win.

But you better start saving your pennies.

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

183 Comments
  • My $300 Android and my $30 Windows Mobile are holding up pretty well. I can't imagine how the $800 + smartphones sell so well. Unless they are a replacement for your PC, which has not in my case.
  • That's why Surface Phone is the strongest opponent here. The only problem was pricing beacause if someone is practically powerful as full desktop then it is going to cost over $900 easily + surface branding makes it over $1200. So, just wait for the right time.
  • That's what makes a Premium iDroid device not a good value. What would it offer over a regular iDroid device?.. Still the same app store on a mobile OS. A Surface Phone would at least be able to handle some real PC work.
  • Unless they are a replacement for your PC
    Of course, we fully expect the surface "phone" to be a PC replacement ;)
  • I want it to play XPA titles! No phone's gonna replace my Surface Pro & Alienware...
  • You're in luck because the surface "phone" isn't really a phone.  Its a PC lol.
  • Count me in if surface phone will be the PC replacement. 
  • That'll be amazing, if it replaces my PC with VR capability and accompanying GT1080 level graphics and a CPU that can compete against Ryzen. I never expected that. Interesting...
  • Depends what you intend to use your phone for. 300$ and 800$ are very different. I believe main difference is camera. I had Lumia 925 but then MSFT dropped support, and did not offer any competitive W10 device on the market. So I went with an iPhone. Amazing device, amazing camera. Unless Surface phone will be unique, powerful device, I don't see myself carrying around W10 in my pocket. I will be buying iPhone 8, that's for sure. I am still dedicated to Microsoft's ecosystem though and with Microsoft supporting iOS so well, I don't miss W10M at all.
  • They do well because ppl fall for the phone leasing scams that carriers put on ppl. Get a $1000 phone for just $20/month for the rest of your life.
  • Well I don't know where you live but it's only a 2 year contract here.   which is very efficent.  You own your phone after 2 years.   I upgrade after about a year and a half,  and get the other 6 months dropped from my contract most times....as they want the air time.   So I am fine with subsidizing my phone for 2 years.  I still buy 3 or 4 others straight up.  My main device is always subsidized however,  for warranty perks I also get from my carrier.  
  • Sorry for the slightly unrelated comment, but, why do you need 4 phones? Just curious
  • The first is business, the second is for his wife, the two phones are for his secret girlfriends ;)
  • Clearly he has an iPhone, android, windows phone, and BlackBerry so he can troll all of mobile nations.
  • Clearly you are just a jealous little fangirl.  
  • Oh,  to the person who asked about why the phones.   I like technology.   I like using differenrt devices.  I have a bunch of different devices because I LIKE THEM.  
  • Sounds reasonable.
    I don't get the reason for all the hate you're getting.
  • because I call out bullshit on either side.  I give windows 10 mobile a MASSIVE fail because it is.  the little fangirls here cannot take that.  so I get "hate".  But unlike BONZE UK I do use every type of OS devices.   
  • Right. I've seen your comments on this site fairly frequently for years, and know you have a pretty negative opinion on the current state of WM. I know that's technically the reason for the angry responses, but what I DON'T get is why people can't just respectfully disagree and move on. I mean, I'm still fairly optimistic about WM (though I have some reservations of course), and as a result disagree with a lot of the things you say, however, resorting to hostility is simply unjustified.
  • It's not the comments about WM that bother ppl, it's his trolling. At least with me. WM had/has issues, but when ppl blatantly lie about issues or make stuff up about other things, they deserve any hate they get. He trolls, he gets trolled back. It obviously bothers him or he wouldn't get so mad, so if he stops, it'll stop coming to him.
  • Simple answer: he doesn't, he's one of "those" online BSers who claim to have 2 or 3 of everything.  You're supposed to be impressed and jeluz.
  • Oh look the other whiny little fanbitch.  figures you would show up crying your tears.  I could give two sweet ***** what you two little ******* think.  I know what I have,  you two whiny little fanbitches can waaaaaaaaaa all the way to your parents basements.  
  • So angry...about phones
  • Nope...not at all....angry about little fangirls like yourself.....
  • I'm not sure why you get so worked up about phones that you have to resort to namecalling and insults.  Seriously...it's PHONES.  Relax. No one is an obsessed fan because they make different choices than you do.  That only means that they make different choices than you do.  You can throw around your baseless insults, but the vitriol doesn't make you right. It just makes you seem REALLY angry about things that aren't that important. 
  • It's literally the same thing contracts were, except when they began leasing phones it became cheaper in the end for the consumer because service itself went down in price. Even the galaxy S3 was a $700 phone back in 2012.
  • And both are rip offs. You're better of buying a phone outright and getting a prepaid plan in most cases. I forget the exact amount but unless you have like 4 lines it's always cheaper to not lease your phone.
  • To get what I get on our plan using prepaid would be about 300 dollars a month each phone.  we only pay 130 bucks a month for both our devices on the network.   So NO  it's NOT always cheaper...please stop talking out of your ass!
  • I know reading is difficult for you but try reading my whole comment before claiming it's wrong. Also if you're paying 130 for 2 devices you're getting ripped off. My wife and I pay 90ish, I think the exact amount is 89.80, for 2 lines and never get charged more regardless of how much data we use.
  • Well again...WHERE ARE YOU.  WE have a plan through my wife's work place...HOSPITAL has great rates.   Again,  130 for both our phones,  with what we have on them,  including 6s subsidy is an amazing deal.   
  • Lol so you pay way more than me WITH a subsidy from your wife. Gets mad when I point it out. Seems like someone is jealous.
  • Because you claim i am paying to much.....I don't...it's the fact of life here...where do you live...you don't answer me when I ask you that.  afriad of anything?  I live in canada where the ******* providers are in bed with the governement for price fixing.   Therefore...my monthly bill thats more than your monthly is MOOT!  I still get an awesome deal for where I live....just because you get a better deal....demographics have a lot to do with it.   You were the one claiming you pay for the "REST OF YOUR LIFE" for a subsidized phone...I pointed out its only allowed to be two years where I live.
  • Where I live means nothing. Even with the exchange rate you pay more. Sucks to be you. Pay more, and you have to live in Canada.
  • figures...little fangirl.  NO sir....proud to be a Canadian.  I don't care what you pay.  I pay what I pay because i WANT the package and phones I I have.  I am not mad about anything you say....I pointed out you said you PAY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE....Must have went to the trump school of math.
  • Yup, again throw politics in where it doesn't fit. Also you must have a great education there in Canada if you can't figure out when someone is being facetious (look it up if that word is too big for you).
  • You are the one throwing in 'politics" by implying that he is stupid to be living in Canada (and don't play the little game where you say you didn't imply that). Also, you must have some great education yourself for being the kind of people turning to "inappropriate" humor. Except, there is no humor in what you said, other that the fact that someone actually said that for real.  Anyway, I always enjoy watching to big boys compete to see who's peeing further in the middle of a rainstorm, so thank you !
  • Look at my comment history with that guy, you'll figure out why your comment isn't exactly meaningful.
  • he's a ****...a little fangirl...plain and simple.   
  • 0% interest for 2 years and you can pay it off whenever you want = scam?
  • Any financial expert will tell you that financing electronics is a horrible way to go, but the scam is that you end up paying more for the same service (sometimes with worse terms) than a no contract plan. Plus you're stuck in a contract.
  • First, any financial expert would see that not all "financing" plans are the same.  In any spreadsheet, keeping the money in your account earning interest while "financing" at 0% makes sense...ZERO PERCENT.  Find me a financial expert who would argue that this isn't a good option?  I'm just an economics degree holder, so I don't quite qualify.  Further, I have NO CONTRACT.  I can pay off the phone at any time and lease.  NO CONTRACT.  To summarize: At 0%, I am paying exactly $0 more for the phone and I'm in no contract.  
  • You know what a contract is right? You literally just explained that you're in one. You have to pay and adhere to the terms of their plan until you pay off the phone. While you pay no extra on the phone itself you are tied to a financing plan on a device that becomes upside down immediately after taking it out of the box (and not too long after even if you don't). Regardless, debt is NOT a good investment uess it's something you cannot live without (and a $1000 phone is not that). You can claim that keeping the $1000 in a savings account allows you to gain interest (not much, even $10k will likely give you less than $10 the first month) but that amount will quickly dwindle between paying off the phone and the usual higher access fee. Now you're stuck with this loan, a bank account that is dropping and a device worth less than what you owe. How is that a good investment again?
  • I'm perfectly aware of what a contract is.  This isn't one.  There is no ETF.  There is no shackle keeping you other than deciding to continue paying off the phone at zero percent.  I'm not sure you understand what a contract is.  There is no contractual obligation to stay 2 years or even one month.  You can just pay off the phone for the same price that you'd pay if you stayed until the payments were over. I only brought up the savings account scenario because you were claiming that paying 0% was more expensive. The fact is, significant or not, that one would come out ahead by banking the cash and paying the phone in installments at zero percent.  Should they decide to leave the carrier, they can withdraw the money and pay off the phone and leave with no additional cost because there is no contractual obligation.  Debt is not always bad.  At zero percent, financing becomes a management tool.  The store of value of keeping that money liquid is an advantage.  Of course, you are correct that they effect in either direction is minimal, but it is certainly not better to pay the phone up front with zero percent and no ETF.  At worst, it doesn't matter. At best, there is a small finacial advantage to NOT paying the phone off at the top, even accounting for depreciation of a non-investiment  The phone loses value whether you pay it up front or pay that amount off in installments.  Technology isn't an investment with any chance of return in any scenario.  I never said it was.  You go ahead and purchase your way and I'll go ahead and purchase mine, but please don't assume that your way is the "right" way.  
  • You might wanna look up what the definition of contract is. 2 year agreement and early termination fee are NOT what makes something a contract. A contract is an agreement you enter that is legally binding. I never said anyone HAD to do it my way, if you like spending more money over the course of a period of time, you're welcome to do so. When you're on these pay off your phone over time plans, they are typically more expensive than prepaid and buy your own phone. My orginal comment was regarding why people still fall for the $1000 phones. The majrity of people with the top of the line phones can't afford them outright, so they get roped into these plans with carriers that over the course will charge just a little more for the service over the course of the lease. 
  • As previously stated, I'm fully aware of what a contract is.  In the context of phone service, your implication is that one is tied to staying with the service for a period of time.  There is no time-based variable here.  The only variable is, if you owe us money, we will not release the phone number for you to use on another service.  They could only recover the remaining balance of the finance agreement.  Yes, the finance agreement is a contract, but the service "contract" is basically month to month. You might want to revisit your math.  I can't explain it with any additional clarity that you are not spending an additional dime, over time.  In fact, many people convince carriers to forgive up to 6 months of payment, thus they are paying LESS than if they paid in full up front.   I am also not charged ANY additional for the service.  Just because you don't want to purchase your phone this way does not mean that there is a big "gotcha" attached.  I'm a very skeptical consumer and I read the fine print and I question everything before I sign.  At the end of 2 years or any amount of years, I will spend the exact same amount of money whether I use the 0% or I pay outright.  Period.  
  • Same here....I have zero percent finanacing on my devices too.  Just pay them off and walk away...contract or not...it's not costing me ANY MORE to pay my phones over 2 years.   Axmantim is just a panzy fangirl who thinks he knows EVERYTHING.
  • There are usually BOGO deals from the carriers and the $800 price tag doesn't stick around for long, at least in Android world. The S8 can be found for about $650 or even less if you hunt around.
  • "In 2017, you would be viewed as a Luddite if you sported a flip phone without an OS."
    😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
  • Yes but a company needs to sell literally many thousands of those phones to earn as much as on a single 1000$ phone (and in most cases it ends up not earning anything).
  • I would say it is a double edged sword, Is windows ecosystem ready for a premium high end device?or will devices such as RED, Note and iPhone beat surface, only on account of better ecosystems. MS needs to expand UWP probably before surface phone, for that we need WoA based tablets and mini tablets.
  • RED and Apple will "beat" Microsoft to the high-end regarding pricing, but for feature set and roles they will be different. The most Apple can do right now is continue to cannibalize its iPad line into its phones. RED is just super niche for video and photo professionals - a fun group, but not likely mainstream. After all, it's just an Android phone at the end of the day with very good cameras. Microsoft, however, could (I stress that word) do something really unique here with a device that more accurately blurs the lines between phone/tablet/PC.
  • If Apple would cannibalize iPad sales into it's phones, wouldn't MS just do the same thing with their phones and the Surface line?  Each month that goes by, I just see MS' ability to get into this market again becoming less and less probable.  I would think that some people may be interested in kicking the tires with a low or mid-range device but MS has burned too many bridges to come out of the gate for the first time (for the 11teenth time) with a premium device that would, inevitably, not be supported properly.
  • "If Apple would cannibalize iPad sales into it's phones, wouldn't MS just do the same thing with their phones and the Surface line? "
    Yes and no. A mini-Surface that is a phablet/phone is still different than Surface Pro or Surface Book for performance/job tasks. But sure, for some people the ideal is just do all your computing on the device you have with you. That is the dream and what all companies are trying to do, in theory.
  • The idea of haveing one pocketble device that can handle all of your computing needs are valid in my opinion but I bewlieve that Microsoft may have missed that train. How many realy need an PC? My own needs are only for gaming and if for an example xbox would get some more of the PC games I\m playing that would be an argument also for me. I would argue for that most people would be happy and not need more than a phablet iPhone/Android and maybe some kind of appleTV or androidTV to add to that. The same also goes for almost all companies. As the world of IT-crime looks to day you would prefer that all the data stays at the company's datacenter and are accessed by something like citrix from a dumb terminal like an iOS or android device. Microsoft needs to have an stellar solution to meat this and it is possible with Asure and maybe some kind of IoT device but Windows 10 home on an ARM-tablett will have an hard time to take the fight with all the Androids and iOSes devices tthat already are in the market. Remeber, you can already connect an mouse and an external keyboard to any android and iOS device with citrix today and add an big screen to that, what more do you need if you have an good infrastructure behind it? The last thing is what most are missing, the infrastructure, not the device.
  • Then I guess I fall into the niche.  I LOVE my Lumia 1020 and bought it because it's camera was clearly the best at the time.  I STILL get better pics from it than I do my 950.  But unless a best-in-class camera comes on this mythical Surface Phone, it will be a non-starter.
  • Why don't you just get a real camera?
  • Dan, sorry, didn't mean to report your comment, unfortunately the app won't let me post comments from phone app, trying to post this from Edge browser, ran into all sorts of trouble, argh, so don't know what happened there, apologies. All i wanted to say was, you certainly know something is in works at MS. Keep us posted. Thanks.
  • LOL You all expect stuff from MS, and this pathetic win10mobile isn't even able to work with this website...Edge browser..pfff. Wonder how many Chrome or Safari users on Android/IOS ever had issues commenting on this website...
  • I agree....the key word is COULD.   will they?  I highly doubt it.
  • Steve, yes the word COULD has been stressed, you're highly doubtful, that is your opinion. I do get pissed off, when all I read is that MS is developing for other platforms, yet their platform gets no love. Dan on the other hand, has knowledge of some things that happen inside MS, he just doesn't write these editorial sitting on some fictional cloud and pulling them out of thin air. I am sure he and Zac have signed non disclosure statements of some sort, hence they are careful of how much they can divulge publicly. He writes with read between the line and if one understands his jargons, there is a lot to take in. Other thing to note, even if there is some mythical SM, it may not see the light of day,MS may kill it before its inception, if they don't see it viable. Let's not speculate, just wait and see. I, personally don't believe that MS is sitting with a finger up their you know where and not doing anything about its mobile strategy. 
  • If you read my post over on the hololens article you will see that I DO LOVE MS.  however,  i don't see them gaining any traction in mobile anymore.  They burned ALOT of their users with only a few fanboys left.   Once they trashed the moving their 8.1 denim devices ahead to 10,  they pissed off ALOT of their loyal users.  MYSELF included.   Then,  the total lack of anything supporting windows 10 mobile was their death knell.  They did not want it to succeed at that point IMO.   MS is not sitting with their thumbs up their ass,  they have moved on to different things...I hope thats making windows 10 desktop better and better.  Forget mobile.  Don't waste money or resources on that anymore.  NOT WORTH THE INVESTMENT.
  • Here's the thing Daniel, since low and midrange smartphones dominate the market and even iphone and samsung user are now keeping their 1 and 2 year old high end phones around for longer, why in the world would people buy an 1000 USD iphone? I'm guessing the same kind of idiots that buy golden apple watches. There samsung and apple device offer very little to justify their price.  Microsoft on the other hand, is the only one that can, since they will be the only ones with a device that will literaly replace phone, laptop, tapblet and maybe even pc.   
  • You missed the point of the article.
  • that no one will buy...you fanboy miss the point again and again....and again! USers, no matter how rich or poor they are, need MOBILE APPS!!! on such pocket device, mobile optimzed, touch friendly APPS!!! unelss you want to go at Starbucks and ask for a monitor,mouse and keyboard for any mediocre continuum experience you will have...and get half the mall laughing at your @$$. We live in the present, stop thinking what we will use in 10-15 years from now! I don;t give a damn fck about what will be a decade from now. Anyway, whatever will be, others will always do better than Microsoon
  • True, the device could blur the lines between phone/tablet and PC in terms processing power and form factor but still wont have the apps right? An android phone with exceptional camera would entice many WP fans. Surface phone will pull professionals who need a productivity device, the only reason I dont switch to Android is due to the horrible outlook app, but this might be a scattered minority, MS may not have enough to pull developers based on this 1 device, it(along with its OEM) partners need to flood the market with devices. Thats what Nokia did.
  • The only way Surface Phone is going to succeed is they have give continuum feature that can run full desktop class application using WindowsOnARM and also don't need a ****** bridging system like continuum Dock. Continuum failed because of the Dock. If they could eliminate the dock and could run WoARM then it is going to be success. Just don't allow users to use any win32 application when using phone. But switch it to full Windows as soon as it is in continuum mode. That would be awesome. Actually, dock needs to be eliminated from the whole picture.
  • You know that you don't actually need a dock?
  • So it connects to a display by magic?  
  • Miracast is magic?
  • Mira mira on the wall
  • Continuum is a dead end for a phone. If that is the killer feature for the Surface Phone, it is dead on arrival. They need to knock it out of the park if they want any chance.
  • It was dead because it was **** because what's the point of continuum if it cant run desktop class applications. It as mere a secondary disply kind of thing. And secondly, they must remove the dock that is required to use continuum. That dock thing is just bad. Why can't it be done with a simple usb connection.
  • I am quite sure it can be done with just a USB-C connection. You would need a bluetooth keyboard and mouse though. An ARM chipset isn't going to be sufficient for any legacy app worth running. Hoping a dock is available, carrying around a keyboard/mouse or a lapdock isn't worth the hassle. You might as well just carry a Surface Pro and an iPhone/Android. Then you get a great mobile experience was well as a great Windows experience.
  • See that's why continuumn should not require external accessory to use this feature.
  • It is always going to require external accessories. You are always going to need a screen, keyboard and mouse. It just doesn't make sense at all.
  • But the dock is problem. Plus it costs extra and provide zero functionality outside continuum.
  • You literally say the exact same thing about any feature that's brought up. You are just programmed to bash. Continuum has plenty of potential. Samsung agreed and has their own version, but you know better than all even before anything is released or announced. You just WANT them to fail so you scream fail on every post.
  • Actually, I was also skeptical about the price of the surace phone. Because, it is for sure that Surface Phone if releases going to cost over $1200 easily. Now, after hearing this news next year seems to be the best time to release first gen Surface Phone.
  • Wow... Surface Phone in the first half of 2018.  I think that's a good timing. A bit surprised that this article was written by Daniel.  Thought it was by Jason :P
  • Right, when I read the title I thought for sure it would be another "Warditorial" lol.
  • There has been zero confirmation that any such device will ever be made, certainly in the first half of 2018.
  • There is also zero confirmation of another Xbox after the One X, or a Surface Book 2, or a new Surface Pro in 2019, or any other new product. I mean, there's no confirmation of an iPhone 8 too. In fact, there's no confirmation of any unannounced product. This is what we call in the biz not news.
  • There are some solid signs of an iPhone 8 including leaks and images from Apple software.
  • https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2017/06/29/apple-iphone-8-displ...   Boom. Done.
  • That's what's wondrous about surface phone, it literally does not adhere to the normal rules of space, time or physics. No matter where or when you are in the universe, surface phone is always a year away from you... 😜
  • I'm not the only one that sees the future.😉Also good for readers to see sources confirming some of the ongoing analysis we've been bringing you over the yeas👍🏿 Stay tuned to WC!🙂
  • Price has never been the problem with MS in mobile. People will pay for a competitively priced device if it offers competitive features and part of a competitive ecosystem (see Surface Pro). Competiting on price is what you do when you cant compete in other ways.
  • Well, users bought the Lumia 930, 1520, 1020 when they were launched at pretty high prices, but back then WP8/8.1 was at least a reliable OS, not an APP heaven, but it was ok, compared to this junk win10mo. And back then MS had a more competent and honest CEO, not a liar and layoff obsessed maniac.
  • I think for many 1000 bucks is the point where you won't go for high end anymore. And unless they have a kickass phone around the 600 mark, those are going to lose a lot of money on brands that will do it.
  • Not necesarily. The reason why most people avoid the $800+ market is because you can get a full-fledged PC for that much. But Microsoft is trying to sell you a full PC that, when folded, can fit in your pocket, for only a few hundred more. That is what you call a winner. Windows 10 Mobile isn't a problem because lots of big-name apps are coming to the Windows Store. There's a reason why most people can survive using Windows 10 S.
  • What apps?? LOL..stop dreaming again.
  • Unless it's an iPhone.  The iSheep will sell everything they own AND camp in front of a flipping store for three months waiting to buy one.  Guaranteed.
  • Microsoft needs a kickass phone for $300 at most. They cannot compete at anything but price and even then they will struggle. Unless they have something truly revolutionary, they need to sell at a loss in order to gain some marketshare.
  • Unfortunately I'm worried that even if they made a phone so good it was worth $10m, and gave everyone in the world one for free, Microsoft's mobile attempts still wouldn't take off. My generation and the one younger than my generation has for the most part been accustomed to iOS and Android. My generation is the one that is now going into companies, going into software dev roles, starting up their own businesses, and we're going all-in with iOS and Android. Not only that, but MacOS and ChromeOS too. I worry that in the future, Windows will be knocked out completely, including in the enterprise. I hope it doesn't happen of course, as someone who enjoys Windows and Windows Phone (and were it not for the app gap, would still be using Windows Phone as my primary), but I am a singular person in a sea of Apple/Google supporters.
  • The chicken and egg syndrome still exists and will still exist into the forseeable future - the lack of apps. No apps, no mindshare. At a +$1000 price tag I think such a device rolled out by MS will be viewed as even more niche that the preexisting phone was. Best of luck to them though.
  • They have openly said that Windows 10 Mobile is being targeted for the enterprise market for the foreseeable future; fairly sure that one prioritizes productivity rather than social networking and gaming, thus the app gap doesn't impact them as much. As such, a device that brings enough of a differential from traditional phones has the potential to be a decent success in niche use cases.
  • I think apps are even more important when you are trying to be productive. How are you supposed to get work done if the app you need isn't available?
  • Foldable surface phone that can dock into a surface laptop like shell or keyboard for computing. All for $999 would be amazing.
  • really? new phone next year? where are those three phones for businessmen, enthusiasts Windowscentral reported years ago? i cannt imagine a successful phone without great UWP ecosystem.
  • " where are those three phones for businessmen, enthusiasts Windowscentral reported years ago?"
    TBF, that was us literally quoting Microsoft and Satya Nadella, so maybe ask him? I won't defend their Mobile, ahem "strategy", as there have been a lot of mistakes and promises broken.
  • They made them & they didn't sell and pretty much failed completely out of the market... 950, HP X3, 550/650...
  • If those were the phones Nutella was reffering to, :)) it's clear MS has absolutely no clue about mobile phones. Their incompetence is off the charts!
  • First, someone PLEASE show me -- in ANY form factor -- an example of the latest REAL foldable display technology.  I've not seen a single example that looks good or makes sense, much less in a phone form factor.  Second, I apparently have been in an even smaller minority than I thought.  I've ALWAYS insisted that there be a REAL flagship device in the Windows phone arena--it should excel in just about everything compared to Apple or Samsung. But, no, everyone else insisted on $120 phones and that's ultimately what MS started producing (and I contend the Lumia 950 should also have been in that category because it really is just a piece of junk).  I want a Windows-based smartphone that so clearly bests the competition that nobody can deny it.
  • "First, someone PLEASE show me -- in ANY form factor -- an example of the latest REAL foldable display technology. "
    Done. From just two weeks ago: Lenovo's folding tablet hybrid strongly resembles Microsoft's 'Surface Phone' patents
  • "Reports from our internal sources suggest that Microsoft is on track to re-enter the mobile smartphone market sometime in 2018, possibly in the first half of the year." Interesting, not only this'd mean RS4 would be the update that'll finish the software revamp (CShell?) they're working on Mobile but the timing would also fit well with Mobile World Congress 2018, I wonder if that's when we'd get your first look at the long rumored device.
  • They will show it at their own event like every surface.
  • I can't wait!  It took me a while to bite the bullet and get a surface book, best decision ever!  I picked up an elite x3 at a Microsoft store as soon as they were there, very pleased....but if i can get a mobile device running full windows i will be in heaven.  I will pay whatever.  I hope it is powerful and it is less than a year.  Bring it on...high powered pc phones!
  • First time apple will invent something and MS will do the reinventing part! Is this the difference between Balmer and Nadella strategy? I never thought of it.  Dan you are amazing;")
  • I have no qualms about buying a phone $1000+ if the price difference results in higher quality and higher productivity potential. I probably wouldn't for some things I don't really need often like camera (sorry RED), but for full Windows 10 with CShell, premium production quality, foldable screen so I can carry this big powerful device more easily, etc., that seems like an investment that will pay off. There will continue to be cheaper and mid-tier phones as well. Nobody is getting screwed over or priced out. I would see it more as a benefit for those who need it/can afford it than a loss for those who can't.
  • The premise of this phone being that people want a portable PC in the first place is where it all falls down. Apple and Samsung may price their new devices higher than normal but they will still be phones first so all you are paying for is the supposedly better hardware built on already established and successful ecosystems. A Microsoft offering runs into trouble out the gate because its trying to answer a question no one asked, ie who wants a portable PC? Then add on the high price, poor UX as a phone due to lack of apps making for a poor overall ecosystem, and you have to question the logic behind such a device.
  • "The premise of this phone being that people want a portable PC in the first place is where it all falls down."
    To be honest, that's not really my premise. I would say we're having mobile devices approaching and absorbing some of the tasks and features from what was exclusively PC-only. I don't think the goal is to make this literally a PC in your pocket ala GPD Pocket that I reviewed, but to have a unique experience tailored for mobile that uses some of what we know/like from laptops. I can see how that can be confusing and it is something I can flesh out more.
  • Hi Daniel, I guess I'm confused...I've pretty mosly seen MS strategy is to build a mobile device that becomes your main computer.  Continuum.  Then you can dock it to have a "Full computer experience"   Has that strategy changed or have I just been confused all along?  
  • Ahh....the mythical "Surface Phone"....now with a higher mythical sales point.  Because the demand will be so inelastic, as to justify it.....
  • Putting aside any mention of "surface phone" I think you are missing the bigger picture here that Apple, Samsung, RED, and others feel comfortable pushing into the $1K range for "smartphones". The majority of this article is about trends in mobile that is Microsoft-agnostic. If you want to ignore that, fine, but there is more to this world than just Microsoft. I'm at this moment more interested in where technology is headed, but presumably Microsoft is going to go along for the ride too. ' It doesn't take a genius to connect the dots when it's all in front of you right now.
  • The difference being no one gives two ***** about Microsoft in the mobile space, no matter what they do. The average consumer doesn't love Windows and aren't going to give up their iPhones and Android phones to buy a new phone just because it has full Windows on it. Microsoft has fumbled the ball in mobile for years and if you ask people on the street they don't even know Microsoft has a mobile OS. I've said since the release of Windows 8 that the future, for most people, is that our phones will ultimately be our primary computer. While mobile it's a phone, and then you dock it for a laptop or desktop experience. Bit just as it has taken people years to come to grips with a hybrid device, it will take even longer for them to give up all other "computers" and just use a Windows phone. In fact, I would argue that because it is a Windows phone it has no chance in hell of happening. Enterprises might go for it. But the hardware really has to be there and it has to be an almost flawless experience. And if history serves, getting to that stage will be 5 years or more out, at the earliest.  
  • I like the idea of the phone/not phone but unless they go all in on mobile payments, best in class camera, banking, airline apps etc then many people and businesses will not be able to justify the expense. It's the extras that people also need and I would have expected Microsoft to be speaking with 3rd parties to make sure they are available, otherwise they will release the product and have to build the ecosystem (again).
  • Microsoft is going to have a much harder time justifying a $1,000+ device. If they go that route, it better be revolutionary. A folding gimmick isn't enough.
  • Anything you don't want = gimmick. You literally can't be impressed, do stop pretending that you can be. They will not make anything great for $300 and you know it, so your crystal ball is calibrated to just hate every possibility. We get it.
  • @dalydose MS has failed everytime! So no matter how much their mithycal device will cost, unless it has APPS!!!! MOBILE APPS fanboys!! apps that are optimized for a pocket size device, it will not move an inch. Just because you fanboys are delusional and would buy any mediocre crap that comes out of Nutella's @$$, does not mean everyone is in the same room.
  • They need more than apps. Lack of apps is a symptom, not the cause of Windows phone's failure.
  • Says you, on copy/paste. It's literally the apps, starting with Google's declaration of war.
  • It's a cause and effect.   Users do not want windows phone because of no apps,  and app developers do not come to windows phone because of no users.   HOW DO YOU FIX IT?  
  • Even with apps people wouldn't buy Windows phones. Android didn't have apps either when WP7 was released. Microsoft had to create a platform that could go toe to toe with Android. They didn't. WP7 was massively flawed. 1. Severely hardware limited. Manufacturers didn't have much choice when it came to hardware. If they wanted to use WP7, they were stuck with old hardware that was harder to market next to Android's cutting edge devices. 2. No customization, even by the manufacturers. There was no way for manufacturers to differentiate their Windows phones. Nokia was the same as HTC and Samsung. No incentive for them to put much effort in. Again, marketing was hampered. 3. Carrier hostile. Microsoft made it so any applications added by carriers or manufacturers could be easily uninstalled. This didn't incentivize them to sell WP. Carriers are extremely important for obvious reasons. 4. Windows name. People don't exactly love Windows. They are forced to use it because it is really the only choice. Years of malware and blue screens didn't help the cause. Windows branding was a liability. 5. Late. Microsoft was a bit late to the party. They could not afford any mistakes giving the poor timing. WP7 was full of mistakes as listed above. They needed to get it right the first time. Apps were just the symptom of a poor platform and strategy. Microsoft just couldn't compete with Google's strategy with Android. They dropped the ball plain and simple. It is all on Microsoft.
  • Many people and companies fail...until they don't. You sound like a lunatic with your "fanboy" tirade. Is your point so weak that it can't be made without insult?
  • Folding isn't going to be a differentiator. It won't be limited to Windows when the tech is ready. Microsoft cannot compete on anything but price at this point. They can easily price themselves out of the market. Unless they have something extraordinary, they need to make it extremely cheap.
  • "(insert any feature rumor) won't be enough" - bleached
  • Except we all know how this plays out: Apple will release it, it will sell out. People wait for the iPhone X and buy the 7S while they wait. The X is the aspirational device and that's what Apple needs to stop iPhone ubiquity. There needs to be rarity and something to talk about again like with the first iPhone. Pricing it high does that instantly. 
  • If the 7S is just a refresh of the 7 then there would be a problem. That low res screen with thick bezels might not cut it really. And then when people see they have to pay 1k+ for the bezel-less one, they may switch to Galaxy.
  • There is supposedly a 7S and an iPhone 8 coming. The iPhone 8 will probably be massively expensive and hard to find at launch.
  • Too rich for my blood.
  • R.I.P. kidneys. 
  • I knew there were thousands of poor Chinese people sold their kidneys for an iPad. Apple won't care even if you sell your soul for a phone.
  • It's simple common sense, any piece of technology isn't worth your body parts......specially it will be outdated in next 2-4 years.
  • We use it instead of camera, videocamera, audio player, video player, book/news reader, as navigation device,........... In the end you get futuristic like device with all that tech in it instead of buying separately number of them for even bigger price. People got used to having such device and are ready to pay quite price to get latest. I'm sure nobody wants cheaper or about same device if he owns premium one already. Sure its not all about money, the better hw for less money always wins, but maybe there is not anything cheap to throw in anymore.
    Anyway 1200/24months is not so much: about 50$/€ monthly. I just hope they find gold middle way to satisfy hunger for new technology without using something too pricy. Unlimited online storage is one example of premium feature that we want, also somebody already offers that for free, so price of device is not final and only deciding factor, hope they understand that we live in sharing age, thats also main reason why (most) people left even after trying new top lumias. They got used to premium features.
  • I agree over 2 years most people will still go for it. But its just a bit scary holding such an expensive piece, fear of losing it... robbery..etc
  • I don't like how that folding idea looks on Lenovo. Its really awful. Microsoft needs to find a better way for that.
  • It's likely going to be Samsung or LG or something similar that develops the technology (if it's even viable). Those companies have the R&D, engineering & manufacturing all under one (figurative) roof.
  • I vision something like.....mobile ui when folded & full windows desktop ui when opened...ofcourse with the features I would use on desktop...
  • "4K-camera manufacturer RED" - They're at least at 5K now.
  • 8K video on their website. 4k photo is like 4 megapixel or something.
  • Yeah, they can shoot at future proof resolutions much higher now.
  • 8K...
    http://www.red.com/products/weapon-8k
  • A major hurdle in that area will be building a device that flawlessly works on other types of cellular networks besides AT&T (at least for US customers).
  • I think that, initially, any mobile device that Microsoft releases will only be for GSM networks. A quick review of recent history shows that Microsoft, HP and Alcatel have not submitted their devices for CDMA certification, thus, pushing customers of Verizon Wireless, Sprint and US Cellular to the curb. Only recently has HP decided to go after Microsoft to code for CDMA in order to get a variant of the Elite X3 ready for Verizon Wireless customers. If only this had happened over a year ago when the X3 was first introduced. 😦
  • I think the device will have esim & u can buy Internet plans from win store.
  • The pardigm of the "ultra pc" sounds breathtaking, but I think the road is already plagued with problems. Perhaps that's part of the journey. i think the hardware will have a cool factor, whichever way one looks at it. it feels like the windows mobile days all over again. I do sincerely hope microsoft, apple and android will have learned from past mistakes of the last 10-15 years and not make the same pitfalls. I'm not sure Microsoft will. I think microsoft windows 10 is showing a lot of unifished fit and finish of the OS, but because the software UI experience can't keep up with the hardware experience. With the ultra pc devices full support of all input methods keyboard, mouse, touch and pen balance will be more relevant thatn ever. But I'm seeing a skewed developement of mainly mouse/trackpad and keyboard focus still dominating. It's not surprising seeing where windows has come from. But I think the ultrapc will also mark the end of pc as we know it and where the smartphone and tablet has accusotomed us to be so familiar with new input methods. Windows has made great strides in improving for years, but refinement and finish is not easy to find on microsoft's roadmap. And that's a shame, because windows 10 could be better already and the refinements needed are not big changes. Then, I think, there's not much what is not to love about windows and its current and future roadmap.
  • Microsoft in mobile is DEAD. They've failed over and over for more than a decade and it's clear they abandoned W10M. At this point we just have fan boys creating rumors for other fan boys to enjoy.
  • You are 110% RIGHT.  For better or worse, I totally agree and it has been proven over and over. 
  • Does no one remember the PS3 being $700 when it came out?
  • Ahhh, all you Negative Nellies. You get better at something by failing. If Microsoft learns from their past mistakes and corrects them. Well, then they just may succeed in mobile finally. Or, they may fail. Microsoft is once again being referred to as "innovative", "going after creatives", and " out innovating Apple." Microsoft is actually becoming cool again. No shame walking into a Starbucks and pulling out a Surface Book or Pro amongst the multitude of MacBooks. This device doesn't need to be cheap or mid-range. People will pay premium money for a premium device. If price alone is the determining factor then the device will fail. When I was in sales I learned a saying, "live by price, die by price." Show the benefits of your product and charge accordingly. ***** all you want about the price of Apple and Samsung phones but, through a perception of value and benefits, those two companies sell tens of millions of phones. There is more to selling a product than just price. Microsoft can surely succeed and there really needs to be a third OS at a minimum in the marketplace. I would love a mobile device from Microsoft that I could easily sync with my PC without workarounds. Something akin to the fluidity of MacOS and iOS. That is something that Redmond can do if they control both hardware and software. And show other manufacturers just how it can be done. These are exciting times in the tech world with major paradigm shifts in our sight. Microsoft has the talent and a butt load of cash, they just need the foresight and drive to push through their vision of a connected world and hopefully others will buy into this vision and hop aboard for the ride!!! One other thing, good article!!!
  • Everything that is not Microsoft is good for Microsoft. I didn't even read the article.
  • I absolutely fail to see how a very high price device helps with the low adoption rates that MS has seen in the mobile market. I don't care if you call it a phone or not.
  • I really hope the pocketed size is no larger than the 950XL. If it is, I'd need to have a phone as well, and if I had a phone and a Surface Pro, how could I spend 1000$ on yet another device?
    I don't care what they call it, but it need to fit in my pocket and do the role as a phone just as well my 950XL.
     
  • It isn't good because Apple is closing the space for Microsoft. Yes some high class CEO (well even not so high class sales people) may want to show that they are successful and may appreciate to have something more expensive than current iPhone. The problem is that if they have the choice between Apple and Microsoft in the current ecosystem it makes it a much harder job for Microsoft to thrive.
  • No phone is worth $1000+ and you would have to be a mug to buy one. Of course they will sell in their millions, but only because there are millions of mugs in this world.
  • The only way microsoft will succeed in mobile is to either create apps themselves or pay developers to create more apps. The MS appstore is a joke compared to Apple/Android. They also need to make tablet mode work better. I stopped using tablet mode altogether on my Surface Pro and am back to using a mouse, basically using it as a latop, which kind of defeats the purpose of having a touchscreen. MS needs to drastically alter the way their core apps like Office interact with touch. As of now using Excel on a touchscreen is extremely frustrating. The menu system across all Office products are unintuitive and not touch friendly. A Surface phone (if one is ever made) would have to do everything very well for it to succeed. It would need to be able to easily connect to your pc, with fast file sharing. It would need to have the best camera on a mobile device ever. It would need all Office apps to be just as powerful (but touch friendly) as on PC. MS needs to convince the business world that touch is the future, since that is where most of their market share resides.
  • If there is an upcoming Surface Fone, here's whats gonna happen: 1) MS will price the fone for $1500! 2) MS fanboys would jump on buying this fone! 3) MS would eventually fail in markeing the fone (history repeats itself!). 4) The demand will die down and MS would be force to bring the price down to sub $1000. 5) MS meanwhile would be busy rolling out firmwares to the fan boys to correct the fone buggs and flaws reported by them. 6) MS would spend six to nine plus months to improve the fone which would include firmware and most likely hardware changes. 7) New revised surface fones would hit the market with sub-thousand prices. That might be the time to buy this fone!
  • Everyone said the same about Surface Pro tablets. Yet now W10 owns a big share of the tablet market. MS showed OEMs like Samsung, HP, Lenovo etc how to do 2in1s and the result was big sales for tablets, and MS owning the 2in1s demographic. All a Surface Mobile has to do is show the way. If its full W10 expect OEMS like Samsung, HP, Lenovo, etc etc to all make Windows 10 ultramonile devices. All Surface Mobile needs to do is show the way. As they did before. 
  • First, I don't recall any articles saying anything about Surface Pro prior to its implementation. And that is because nobody knew what would happen since its was the first MS pc to the market. Second, MS advertised Surface Pro which helped enormously. They did not advertise Nokia phones and that is one of the main reasons for its failure. For Surface Phone, we are already aware of MS mobile strategy! MS is generally tight in spending on commertials for its products, in particular their mobile phone division. One reason could be that they already know they are making good money on software, cloud, xbox, Surface PCs, and therefore mobile phone business is not the priority. 
  • its inevitable the next step is a full OS in your pocket. Phones as they currently are cannot improve. The OS in mobile form is at its peak. The only way forward is for it to do more. unless the new Iphone uses OSX then I don't see the point. The Surface team reinvented the tablet, after naysayers said they would fail. Now Windows 10 has a big share of the tablet market. In fact it owns the 2in1 space. Purely because Google and Apple don't have tablets that can remotely compete on that level. In this respect MS can absolutely tap in to the mindshare and market share that value 2in1 tablets. Reinventing Mobile uses with a Surface Mobile showing OEMs again how to do it is going to be crucial. 2018 will be interesting. Especially as carriers offer month to month service access to calltime,mobile data straight from the device. Instead of walking into a shop and choosing said phone and carrier in a 18-24 month contract. This shift to purchasing plans isn't going to do Google and Apple any favours over the next 5-10 years. The majority of Smartphone Buyers only have 1 because they get it on a loan. But the majority don't see it as a loan. As it shifts more to purchasing up front, people will be more concerned. I've always said the current form of getting a smartphone essentially free at the start is a volatile market and process. And one that wouldn't last forever. And certainly i would not have built a business foundation of sales on this process. We shall see what happens. 
  • You make a very good point Richard.  There is a reason Andriod is dominating the mobile market right now.  They provide affordable phones.  Most countries don't have super carriers like we do.  Most people purchase month to month plans or simply pay for a limited plan.  They buy the phone out right.  It was the contracts that allowed consumers to purchase high end phones like the iPhone and Samsung galaxy.  The culture of carrier contracts will change, and that will change the landscape of what types of phones consumers are going to buy. They will no longer be conditioned to buy the phone they want, but the phone they need, most importantly being the phone they can afford. This will put Apple at a disadvantage because all their energy is invested in the high end smartphone market.  It will hit companies like Samsung, but other Andriod OEM's will actually make out.
  • If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it make a sound when it hits the ground?  Science tells us that it unequivocally will.  The more important question would be, who would be around to care?   This has been the question that has haunted MSFT for the longest time.   There's never been a question of inovation or resources when it comes to MSFT.  It's been a question of who knows about that inovation, and what's the utilization of those resources.  Zune was my many peoples account a far superior device than the Apple iPod, yet the iPod was the device the revolutionized portable music and sent CD players to their tombs. I would say both devices were on par with each other, but the Zune player was a far superior music application than iTunes ever was, again no one knew about it, and that was a travesty that has been a trend for MSFT.  When the iPhone was first introduced, it was marketed as an iPod touch with calling capabilities.  Now the iPhone is the standard when it comes to mobile phones.  It was evident that MSFT has a different approach with the Surface line, which although took some time to gain traction, it wa a result of an unrelenting effort to push out that inovation so everyone could see it, and proper utilization of resources.  MSFT put the Surface on TV shows and movies.  They went all in with the NFL.  You saw them on morning talk shows.  As a result Surface is now the standard when it comes to 2-in1 devices.  The key was when MSFT introduced the Surface Pro 3, the Surface that really set the tone...they marketed it as the tablet that could replace your laptop.  It wasn't just a tablet.  They introduced another category, and then put their stamp on it.     MSFT has a chance to do that yet again.  I like their position with regards to the Surface phone.  They are letting us critics rant and rave about this mystical phone while they are letting the other OEMs lay down the foundation.  How ever amazing the next iPhone and Samsung galaxy whatever is going to be, it will be advertised and marketed as the rest....smart phones.  Sure you can connect a wireless keyboard and mouse to them and project the images on a bigger sreen, but most don't them for that, and that isn't the selling point.  No one is going into a store and saying I want to get a new iPhone so I can type my dissertation on it.  This is why the iPad has fallen off.  It's nothing but an oversized iPhone without all the cool features, and a poor camera.    When MSFT decided to release this ultramobile device they need to do it with the mindset of creating another category like they did with the Surface brand.  Advertise the device with somone typing a term paper, or kids playing an Xbox One X game, or somone doing music or move editing, sharing files, or conducting a presentation over Skype for business with clients all over the world using Hololens like VR glasses.  As the picture expands then you finally show that by the way you can also make phone calls with it too.  It shows the power of Continuum, Cortana, Hololens and how they're all innerconnected via Windows 10.  They should call it Surface Lens or something like that. Don't use the term "Phone" at all.     They have the innovation and the resources to duplicate what they did with the Surface brand.  The question is are they going to knock the tree down when no one is looking, or wait until the forest is packed with people.
  • It would be Surface Fold, if it's foldable...
  •  I love the idea of a "Surface" foldable tablet or phone. I think it will the generation of the smart phone if you will.  We call our devices phones right now, but they aren't really phones anymore anyway. I rarely use my device to make calls now.  But I use it everyday for other things.  I think what the market and consumers are willing to pay right now maybe leveling off or going down a little. There have been numerous polls taken asking whether most people would pay over $1000 for the new iPhones. The pervading response is No. people are expecting more for that $800 to $1000.  As for the iPad, it's sales aren't exactly completely faltering. They saw increased sales this FY because of the iPad Pro. The Pro isn't just a large iPhone anymore. In fact, it's becoming a true hybrid competitor. With the newest iOS 11 coming out soon it's giving the message to everyone, it isn't just a content consumption device anymore. Both android and Apple have the ecosystem that MS doesn't have.  I don't know anyone who bought an iPad for the camera, so the camera is good enough and Apple knows that.   The iPad is becoming an even greater competitor even while using an older model.  So, iPads sales don't even need to increase to stop people from switching to a windows mobile device.  I don't know if anyone looking to buy a devicemostly for its AR capabilities, but Apple has been able basically add it to their d vices by a flip of switch  without even having to get people to buy a device with that being a strongpoint   That wonderful Nokia 1520 still has practically the best phone-camera mixture, I have yet not had nor seen a phone with a better camera  of course, the 1020 had a better camera, but the phone capabilities weren't as good as the 1520. MS has been the most innovative company out there. Innovation must also be married up with ecosystem. Ecosystem contains more than just a ton of apps. The business world is a different beast though and MS might be able to take that on better as they've pretty much always done well in that sector.   
  • I'm curious what Microsoft will bring to the market. It would be awesome if it would be a pocketable device which for example has the capabilities to give system administrators access to a server farm at the work place, on which you could for example run for example a VMWare VSphere client or - to give another example - a mobile VPN with SSL client from suppliers like Watchguard and others.  Until then I'm gonna use my Lumia 950XL and hope, that it won't take too long until Microsoft comes up with a new product line that will replace their Lumia phones. 
  • This type of days come for microsoft that they have to decided the price of W10M on the bases of android and ios price. Hardware in surface phone on that bases it will be decided weather MS phone will be good to buy or not. If happen likes lumia 950 and 950xl then who will pay a big amount for plastic box with immature OS.  
  • You are so wrong. I have a Lumia 950 since it's lauch, I had the same ideia at the start, it turns out that the phone is very well build, very strong, and the OS at early stages was unreliable in some areas but MS did a great job (and still doing) updating the OS, bringing to it all we ask for and fixing all the bugs promptly. You have to own one to understand.
  • Who cares if they want to keep there price below 2000$ or 3000$.  First MS have to learn about maintain and giving a stable mobile OS to customers.
  • Iphone8, if leaks are confirmed, will be premium in price only.
    Nothing innovative, still behind Samsung S7, a huge step back from Apple.
  • iPhones were always pricey and far behind in technology when compared with others, the only good thing is that they can build fast devices as their OS is designed for a small amount of devices. But the rest:... "Rumors suggest a near-bezel-less display, wireless charging, facial recognition, and more. While all that technology has been around for years, we've all heard the joke that it doesn't count until Apple "invents it for the first time.""
  • I love my HP Elite Windows phone. $1000.00+ seems insane to me but look at the mileage Apple is getting out of it's iOS devices. I don't think that Windows mobile is ever going to work if people can't do all of the stupid stuff we like to do on our cell phones which always brings us back to Microsoft's mobile app issues. Or at least organize the app store structure to find like phone apps that work as their Android, iOS counterparts. Try searching for specific apps the mobile store. It's still pretty bad unless you really do your homework.
  • If this new device is able to replace both my Surface Pro and my Google Pixel, I'd obviously be happy to pay up to $2k for it. Running full Windows 10 on a portable device is a win in my books and would make my business more efficient. 
  • If it really replaces a Surface Pro, I would be happy to go up to 3k, it worths it.
    Some guys commenting here are complaining about the possible price for these devices, but they have no clue of what is coming, and there are no info on both specs and prices anyway.
  • Right. And the most important thing is that - if you can't afford it, you shouldn't be bothered by this.  It is okay, this new stuff always comes out and is expensive.  If it is well adopted and receives the positive attention it needs, it becomes more mainstream and accessible.  I can't imagine these same people complaining about the accessibility of the Tesla Model S and X. Look whats happened since... Model 3 for the masses.  Look at what Tesla is doing for solar roofing now.  Expensive, albeit allegedly still cheaper in the long run than convention roofing, they will be breaking records and if it catches on you can bet that in a few years it will become even more efficient and even cheaper.    I just don't understand why people think that every product they feel they should have should be available for free or for little-cost.  It doesn't work that way and it never has.
  • The surface phone is welcome. How many people are going to afford it with the starting price of $1000? Microsoft should also introduce a $400 and $500 surface phone for those that can't afford the high end one. This introduction will make sense for those using lumia 5 xx and 6xx .if they want to upgrade they will look at the Surface affordable options.
  • I agree, But you're pushing your luck for four or five hundred dollar Surface Fone. The low end version would not be less than $700 and that would only have 32 GB ROM. Then, there will be 64, 128 and 256 GB versions as well with most likely different screen sizes. The foldability would be reserved for the high ROM versions of course....
  • It doesnt make sense to enter mid-range for a "attention grabbing, standards setting, inspiring" device that the Surface lineup is supposed to represent.  They might eventually do it... after OEMs have had their chance to come out with low-mid range devices.  Kind of like what they did with Surface 3s and eventually the Surface Laptop.  I can understand needing to attract "premium" seeking afluent people first... they set the trends, and attention is what Microsoft needs.  Remember the Motorola RAZR, then iPhone?  It was a short while before everyone that didn't need one had one.  Its a risky bet, but at this point they really don't have much to lose in the mobile space. Go BIG or go home.  
  • If users do pay up 1000$ for an iphone or a Samsung, it does not mean they will pay up the same for a surface phone! When it comes to a pocket device experience, MS has proven only mediocrity so far. I have to a be a complete idiot to buy another MS phone size device, and at 1000$ :))). MS sucks bigtime!
  • In Australia this is old news. Top level mobile phones have cost over $1000 for the past few years. Galaxy S8 is currently US$950-$1067, iphone 7 is US$850-$1123. Heck even the HP Elite x3 is US$870. All of them are well over AU$1000.
  • i cannot afford a high end smart phone at those prices thats ridiculous. count me out im serious.
  • $1000 phone....I don't see how a phone they would offer today could convince me it's worth buying it. Ultimately l mostly focus on it being a tool, with a Nice and fluid UI. I'm willing to spend some money on extras, but $1000 phone is way too much.
  • I will wait 2 generations of Surface Phone and see whether there will be another "ultimate mobile OS" going to happen and then decide. So 36 months to save $1000 should be fine ;-)
  • Same here.   I would not buy another MS based mobile phone until THEY SHOW SUPPORT.   I showed enough support to them in the past.