A Surface phone might just be what Windows 10 Mobile needs
Even though it already has a smartphone line, rumors suggest that Microsoft wants to release a smartphone under the Surface brand. It may sound a bit far-fetched, but this might just be what Microsoft and Windows 10 Mobile really need to become a serious contender in the high-end smartphone market.
While Surface tablets are increasingly more appealing, following the introduction of Surface Pro 3, the Lumia line is proving to be increasingly less attractive in consumers' eyes, as proven by its tiny 1.7 percent market share. Moving an upcoming flagship product from a fading to an up and coming brand starts to make a whole lot of sense.
The Surface line represents the best that Microsoft has to offer in terms of Windows tablets. Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are true flagships, that haven't really been matched by any competitor so far. There's none of that off-putting Lumia smell here. It's the kind of brand that can help a Windows flagship smartphone become attractive to shoppers in the premium smartphone market.
The Lumia line is starting to be associated more and more with the best that Microsoft has to offer at the opposite end of the spectrum, namely entry-level smartphones. Coupled with the fact that its latest flagships aren't all that attractive, it makes me wonder whether Microsoft really cares about competing in that segment anymore.
Most people don't seem to care at all about expensive Lumias, as proven by the types of Windows Phones that are most popular, so perhaps it's time to stop doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
This upcoming Surface smartphone is expected to be released in the second half of 2016, so there is plenty of time for Microsoft to get it right and also get Windows 10 Mobile right for it. It has to have the latest and greatest hardware available at the time, otherwise it'll fade away in a sea of high-powered options, and it also has to have some dazzling features that provide clear benefits, otherwise it might look like any other expensive Windows Phone released in the past couple of years.
Continuum might be an area of focus, for instance. It is poorly implemented at the moment, but this can be improved. A Windows smartphone that can transform into a PC, without having to carry an adapter with you, will certainly help differentiate a Windows 10 Mobile flagship from the rest of the crowd. Just imagine if it's able to run true Office...
There is also plenty of room for innovation in the camera department, which is an area where high-end Lumias have typically been strong performers. But, the competition has caught up, and surpassed even the mighty Lumia 1020. A killer camera is definitely among the most-desirable traits when looking at a premium product, and Microsoft could use this to its advantage. It certainly has the know-how, as it has the imaging talent from Nokia under its roof.
Let's just hope it gets it right this time, and that it actually goes through with it of course, because the future doesn't look all that great for Windows 10 Mobile right now.