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Microsoft said to be unlikely to launch Surface Phone until 'late 2017, or even 2018'

Today, Microsoft announced that it will hold an event on October 26, at which it's expected to unveil its new Surface all-in-one desktop PC, along with new Surface-branded keyboards and mouse. The event is ostensibly focused on Windows 10, rather than hardware specifically, but given the extent of recent leaks and rumors from well-placed sources in recent weeks, it seems inevitable that its new hardware will make an appearance there.

But what we're not expecting to see there is the much-rumored Surface Phone; all credible information that has emerged on the mythical device over the last few months has pointed to a launch in 2017 at the very earliest. However, its release may have been pushed back even further.

A rumor back in December claimed that Microsoft could be lining up the device for release in 2016. But in April, a further report from the same source stated that the company was planning to unveil the new handset in April 2017, alongside its rollout of the Windows 10 Redstone 2 update.

However, in July, the supremely well-informed Mary Jo Foley reported that the Surface Phone's release might not actually come until some time after Redstone 2. In a follow-up report last month on Microsoft's hardware plans, she reported that her sources were still indicating that the handset could arrive "considerably later" than the RS2 update.

Today, Mary Jo delivered yet more bad news for those hoping to get their hands on the Surface Phone. After reiterating that no Microsoft phones will launch this year, she added that the latest information from her sources is that "it will likely be late 2017 or maybe even not until 2018" before the Surface Phone arrives.

If Microsoft is indeed planning to launch the Surface Phone in 2018, that would be a considerable wait, particularly given that the company's current flagships - the Lumia 950 and 950 XL - were unveiled a year ago. Their prices have plummeted in recent months, indicating that they're approaching the end of their retail lives.

Source: Mary Jo Foley (ZDNet)

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