Renderings of the Microsoft-made Turtle and Pure phone designs were out for about five months now, and at the time many believed that those designs may constitute Microsoft’s foray into the hardware space for Windows Mobile. Now, one of the handset designs–the one with the vertical sliding keyboard–known as the Turtle has now passed through the FCC for approval with the company asking regulators to withhold disclosure of information until March 29. What is known, now, is that the handset is made by Sharp, a company that has made hardware for the Danger group, which is responsible for many of the Sidekick models. Since Microsoft has acquired Danger and there hasn’t been any news on the Sidekick front, we’re wondering if these designs could signify the re-emergence of the Sidekick platform–current models have been out for a while now and are due for a refresh.
The UI that was shown on the rendering shows something that’s a bit fresher than the current OS. The UI shows some widgets and would give the Sidekick OS a nice modern feel.
The Sharp-made handset–possibly for Microsoft and the Danger group–will operate on CDMA/EVDO Rev. A networks according to the FCC, which would be a first for Sidekicks as T-Mobile, a GSM/HSPA network, is the only US carrier to offer the consumer-based cloud-connected smartphone devices in the past.
All of this is pure speculation, and we’re placing more credence that this could be a Sidekick refresh due to the fact that Microsoft has continuously denied that it would venture into the hardware space for Windows Phones, despite rumors of Project Pink being a Microsoft-made Windows Mobile handset and Zune Phone speculations.
The Microsoft press conference is a few short hours away at Mobile World Congress, and hopefully we’ll know more about Windows Phone 7 Series and any Sidekick and hardware news in the company’s future.