Surface Phone: Microsoft’s Foldable Smartphone Might Have Found A Manufacturer

Recent reports suggest that a popular computer manufacturer has taken on the role of manufacturing Microsoft's re-entry into the mobile market.

Microsoft might have found a manufacturer for the Surface Phone.
Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Recent reports suggest that a popular computer manufacturer has taken on the role of manufacturing Microsoft's re-entry into the mobile market.

Recent reports appear to be suggesting that the development of Microsoft’s long-awaited re-entry into the smartphone sphere — the Surface Phone — is progressing well. After all these years, Microsoft finally seems to have found a manufacturer that could create its next mobile device. This manufacturer is Dell.

According to a recent report from WinFuture, Dell is currently working on a Windows 10-powered device that appears to be a dead-ringer for the Surface Phone’s rumored designs. For one, Dell is supposedly making a smartphone/laptop hybrid device, which would have two displays, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor. The SD 850 is a variant of Qualcomm’s current flagship, the SD 845, and is expected to be the processor of choice for a number of ARM-based Windows computers that are set for release this 2018.

Coincidentally, a smartphone/laptop hybrid with two displays is exactly the design that has been reflected in the patents that Microsoft has been granted. These patents have, over the past few months, mainly been related to the Surface Phone, considering that the patents suggest that the device would be compact enough to be carried around like a smartphone, but robust enough to work as a fully-fledged productivity device.

Dell is reportedly using the codename “Januss” for the upcoming smartphone/laptop hybrid. While Dell has not confirmed that the device will indeed be the long-rumored Surface Phone, other signs are suggesting that Januss will have some features that are very similar to those that are found in conventional smartphones. Among these features are a gyroscope, an accelerometer, an electronic compass, a USB-C port, and most of all, LTE connectivity. If these features sound familiar, it is because these are pretty much standard on most mobile phones that are sold on the market today.

In a lot of ways, it makes sense for Dell to be the company that would ultimately be Microsoft’s designated manufacturer for the Surface Phone. The company, after all, while famous for making powerful consumer grade and enterprise-grade laptop computers, has already attempted to breach the smartphone market in the past. As noted in a BGR report, Dell was actually the first tech company that brought a large-screened Android device to the market. The device, called the Dell Streak, beat the first Samsung Galaxy Note to the market by more than a year. The device, however, never really took off.

It still remains to be seen in Dell’s Januss device is the long-rumored and highly-anticipated Surface Phone. Following the revelation of patents featuring a foldable device from Microsoft, however, Dell’s Januss is the closest the market has gotten to the company’s upcoming entry into the smartphone market.