They say the recently unveiled Lumia 950 and 950 XL could decide the entire fate of Microsoft’s smartphone-making business, and despite looking phenomenal on paper, the Windows 10 Mobile flagships aren’t off to a great retail start, with premature UK discounts and US carrier support snags.
But what if another Lumia failure were to only bring the death of the Nokia-conceived product family? And what if Redmond were to rely on the surprising success of Surface Pros and warm early reception of the Surface Book to better market Windows phones?
Yes, the almost mythological “Surface Phone” is back in the rumor mill, as a comprehensive Wired cover story on the Surface Book reveals work “on a prototype of a new phone” in the acclaimed design team’s labs.
In case you hadn’t heard, Microsoft Corporate VP Panos Panay recently took over engineering duties for the Xbox, Lumia, HoloLens, and Microsoft Band in addition to Surface devices, which seemed a decent indicator off the bat some sort of fusion was in the pipeline.
Now, we get (partial) confirmation Panay’s been asked to work his magic on the aesthetically struggling Lumia roster, though obviously, it’s way too early for branding or release timeline discussions. The Lumia name could live on, and the visual tweaks going forward might be minimal, or the mystery prototype itself may be canceled before bearing stylus-capable fruit, a la the 3D Touch-enabled “McLaren.”
Still, it’s nice to hear a Surface Phone remains a possibility for late 2016 materialization, right?