Not only has Microsoft’s share of the mobile OS market sunk to sub 1 percent levels, but Lumia production has reportedly been put on ice. Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s hardware division has been a complete financial disaster and has result in the firing of thousands of employees.
Despite these strong headwinds, Nadella is still convinced that there is a path forward for Microsoft in mobile. Instead of being a follower, he wants Microsoft to use innovation to carve a new niche in mobile devices (something that the company has done with Surface Studio in the all-in-one desktop market).
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
"We don't want to be driven by just envy of what others have, the question is, what can we bring? That's where I look at any device form factor or any technology, even AI," said Nadella. "We will continue to be in the phone market not as defined by today's market leaders, but by what it is that we can uniquely do in what is the most ultimate mobile device."
Could this be an admission of the existence of the long-rumored Surface Phone? The Surface Phone would be the logical successor to the Lumia line, and if Panos Panay’s team has anything to do with the design, you can expect for it to be a beautiful device.
As for hardware, recent rumors suggest that the Surface Phone could be powered by the newly announced 10nm Snapdragon 835 with Quick Charge 4.0 support. It’s been said that one prototype device has been spotted with 6GB of RAM, and is already taking advantage of the x86-on-ARM64 emulation that we talked about earlier this week (which allows x86 apps to run in emulation via Continuum).
Microsoft’s x86-on-ARM64 emulation could be a big differentiator on mobile for the Surface Phone, but it remains to be seen if that will be enough to get Windows 10 Mobile sales out of the gutter.