New rumors indicate Microsoft Mobile, the company formed from the Devices and Services arm of Nokia that Microsoft purchased last year, could have a two new iPhone rivals running its Windows operating system.
A report originating from WPDang, a Windows Phone focused website, indicates that Microsoft has plans to announced two new iPhone 6 alternatives running Windows Phone. One of the devices, according to the report will be explicitly for taking on the iPhone 6 in the mid-range to high-end smartphone market. Another low-end Lumia smartphone would bring a fresh look to the low-end Lumia Windows Phone lineup.
It’s this mid-range to high-end iPhone 6 alternative that’s garnering the most attention. The report gives this device the model name as RM-1072, a model number that’s also appeared on independent Windows Phone usage reports put together by AdDuplex. AdDuplex compiles market share statistics for different Windows Phones based on ad impressions. Allegedly, the RM-1072 will feature a 5-inch 720P display and a Qualcom quad-core processor. It also says that users can expect 8GB of storage, which isn’t a lot considering what some other devices come with. Users will have the option to add more through a microSD card slot. The RM-1072 discussed in this report will allegedly hold a 8.7 megapixel rear-facing camera.
Unfortunately, the report says very little about the second, low-end iPhone alternative it indicates is coming, but does cite a source as saying a third Windows phone device coming in May or June. It’s WPDang’s assertion that we can expect a high-end iPhone 6 competitor in May or June, well after Mobile World Congress. Allegedly, it’ll be this phone that run Windows 10 for phones, the mobile operating system that Microsoft is expected to fully detail in the next few weeks. Mobile World Congress kicks off on March 2nd and runs until March 5th.
Right now, we know next to nothing about future iPhone alternatives running Windows Phone. Today the best competition the Windows Phone ecosystem has for the iPhone 6 Plus is the Lumia 1520, a device that originally debuted in the fall of 2013. Worse, there are only two devices that can compete with both the iPhone 6 and high-end devices running Google’s Android operating system: the HTC One M8 for Windows and the Lumia Icon. The Lumia Icon was exclusive to Verizon and debuted last February. It’s since been discontinued, leaving users to search online for a suitable device. The HTC One M8 for Windows is available on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, but isn’t made by Microsoft Mobile, which is a problem for some looking to get an unhindered first-party experience.
On stage at last week’s Windows 10 Media Briefing, Microsoft’s Terry Meyer confirmed there’d be new Windows Phone devices announced in the coming months. He also specifically said that there’d be new flagship Windows phones. The company spent a large chunk of that briefing discussing the Windows 10 for phones software.
Already we know that Windows 10 will come to devices running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. The Start Screen has been given a big makeover. Instead of backgrounds showing up within tiles, Windows 10 for phones will finally introduce backgrounds that sit behind Live Tiles, matching what’s available on iPhone and Android. To see more of these backgrounds Microsoft is adding Live Tile transparency like users have on the Xbox One. There will only be one set of apps for all devices running Windows 10. Instead of creating multiple apps, developers and Microsoft will roll out apps with different interfaces for different screen sizes.
Presumably, Windows 10 for phones will arrive as an update on most carriers in the United States and abroad by the end of 2015, but that’s a rough guess.