Oct. 3, 2012 at 1:49 PM ET
Microsoft's current lineup of Windows Phone 8 devices consists of hardware designed by partners, but — if some rumors are to be trusted — the Redmond-based company may be working on its very own Windows Phone 8 smartphone.
In fact, Windows Phone Central's Daniel Rubino writes that sources known to the publication claim that Microsoft is already testing this new Windows Phone 8 hardware.
There aren't details regarding how the devices will look, what sort of features they'll have, when they'll be announced, how much they'll cost, and so on. All that's being said is that this new hardware is "something unique" in comparison to the current Windows Phone 8 lineup.
The rumors are especially plausible given the fact that Microsoft is launching its own tablet this month, the first time Microsoft is branding its own computer hardware. It's also not surprising that Microsoft would want to go for it given the lackluster performance of partner phones, even the critic-approved Nokia Lumia series.
BGR's Zach Epstein has sources making the same claims and specifying that this new hardware is intended to "compete directly with high-end devices" like the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S III.
Additionally, a recent — though rather vaguely sourced — report in the China Times offers that the new Microsoft-made Windows Phone 8 devices will be an addition to the "Surface" brand and hit shelves in the first half of 2013.
As Windows Phone Central's Daniel Rubino points out, it may even make sense for Microsoft to try the option of selling its own phones, directly to customers with no carrier interference, similarly to how Google offers the Nexus devices through its own website, though that model has not generally paid off for phone makers.
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