Microsoft and Amazon are expected to launch ‘own-brand’ smartphones next year, which could include the hugely speculated Windows Phone 8 Surface handset.
According to tech news site DigiTimes, Foxconn International Holding (FIH), the major manufacturer of Apple’s iPhone products, has reportedly landed handset orders from Microsoft and Amazon.
Unnamed sources are also cited as saying “Microsoft and Amazon’s own-brand handsets will only have a limited shipment volume initially and may become a new business model for the manufacturers in the future.” Foxconn has made no comment in response to the rumours.
Speculation about Microsoft manufacturing its own Surface smartphone has been circulating since the company introduced the Surface tablet, the first device with hardware and software produced entirely by Microsoft.
There is also the possibility that the company will launch a set-top box called Xbox TV, running its new Windows 8 software, which would allow users to control games via Xbox Live as well as access extra content.
Whilst releasing its own devices could jeopardise Microsoft’s relationships with its WP8 hardware partners, it would certainly take the software giant one step closer to creating a fully unified mobile ecosystem.
In other news, it has also been reported that Microsoft is looking to open high street retail stores across the UK, to sell its new hardware, a move which could help it compete in the retail space with rival with Apple.