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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Microsoft may launch its foldable Surface Phone in 2019

The much-awaited foldable Surface Phone is expected to launch early 2019. Microsoft’s new device will compete with foldable phones from Samsung, Oppo, and Huawei.

tech Updated: Dec 03, 2018 11:03 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
All you need to know about Microsoft’s ambitious Project Andromeda.
All you need to know about Microsoft’s ambitious Project Andromeda.(AP)
         

Rumours about Microsoft’s long-awaited foldable phone, Surface Phone, refuse to die. Codenamed Andromeda, Surface Phone is now expected to see light of the day early next year.

According to a new book ‘Beneath a Surface’, written by journalist and tech blog Thurrot.com collaborator Brad Sams, Microsoft’s foldable phone is going to be quite similar to Samsung’s recently unveiled foldable phone and Huawei’s upcoming foldable phones.

He also claimed that the Microsoft foldable phone will run on a customised version of Windows, just like Windows Phone in the past. The device ‘Andromeda’ can be folded up from a phone to a tablet.

The book, however, mainly revolves around Microsoft’s journey to build advanced Surface devices which played a big role in making the company one of the world’s biggest PC makers. Just recently, Microsoft surpassed Apple to become the world’s most valuable company.

Microsoft and smartphones: A bumpy ride

Microsoft is no stranger to the smartphone segment. In 2011, the company announced a partnership with Nokia to launch a range of smartphones, powered by Microsoft’s mobile version of Windows. Back then Nokia was the biggest phone company in the world.

But with Nokia’s falling market shares and rise of Android, Microsoft’s Windows Phone devices failed to gain momentum. Microsoft, however, tried to salvage the situation by acquiring Nokia in 2013 and continued to sell phones. A couple of years later Microsoft washed its hand off the smartphone business and sold Nokia to HMD Global.

FlexPaid: Royole Corp. recently unveiled what it is billing to be the world's first smartphone with a flexible screen so the device can be folded like a billfold.
FlexPaid: Royole Corp. recently unveiled what it is billing to be the world's first smartphone with a flexible screen so the device can be folded like a billfold. ( AP )

Foldable phones: The next generation smartphones

Samsung became one of the first smartphone companies in the world to unveil a foldable phone. At its developer conference in San Francisco last month, Samsung a glimpse of its foldable-screen phone which could be opened like a book.

The phone is expected to officially launch early next month. Samsung is betting big on the foldable phones and is reported to produce at least 1 million units of them.

Huawei and Oppo have already confirmed plans to launch foldable phones early next year. Apart from unique form factor, these two companies are going to incorporate 5G support to woo more customers. ALSO READ: Meet FlexPai, the world’s first foldable phone

Interestingly enough, Microsoft’s Andromeda Project has been rumoured for years. Earlier this year, TheVerge reported that Microsoft Surface Phone will be compact and will easily fit in users’ pocket. The device is promised to be a “new and disruptive category”.

“The prototype models of Microsoft Surface Phone have support for styluses and notepad-like apps to take quick notes,” reported TheVerge. “It will blur the lines between mobile and stationary computing,” according to a leaked document. ALSO READ: Microsoft fans sign petition to save Surface Phone from cancellation 

First Published: Dec 02, 2018 11:57 IST