Microsoft revealed two pretty powerful Windows 10 smartphones at an event in October, but now we’re getting a taste of what might launch in 2016. A new report claims the long-rumored Surface Phone may be in the works for next year.
According to WindowsCentral, earlier plans for a metal Surface Phone designed by Nokia have been scrapped. Instead, Microsoft exec Panos Panay and the team behind the Surface series is hard at work on a new flagship phone. The device is apparently referred to internally by the codename NorthStar or simply as “Panos’s Phone.”
We still don’t know much about the device, but one defining feature could be its mobile processor. Several sources told WindowsCentral that the new phone could pack an x86 chipset from Intel. That’s a lot more power than Qualcomm’s current Snapdragon lineup offers, and an x86 processor would allow the phone to run PC applications.
It’s unclear when exactly the new phone will launch, though it probably won’t make an appearance until late 2016. That should leave Microsoft plenty of time to perfect the device, and give the Lumia 950 and 950 XL a full year of flagship status. It’s also possible Microsoft could push the device out as soon as next summer. The announcement may hinge on when the company is ready to announce its next big Windows update, allegedly called Redstone, which is expected to improve Continuum and add several new features.
The Surface Phone has been the subject of plenty of rumors, so let’s hope this one actually comes to fruition.