I consider this rumor bullshit, but I thought I’d cover it for the sake of painting a fuller picture.
According to CrunchGear, Microsoft is going to release a 4G enabled Zune Phone in the next few months. This would make it one of the fastest smart phones on the market and a music playing device.
I call bullshit. This is hype brought to the next level. A respectable site like CrunchGear shouldn’t be making these huge logic jumps to arrive at these conclusions. This is reporting gone awry where someone jumps to a conclusion first and then fills the gaps with whatever they can find.
Their only real evidence is an FCC filing for a “consumer broadband access and networking” device. Realistically, most people would conclude it means Microsoft wants to enter the smart phone market with its own branded device. You know, maybe a smaller Origami or something. Really now.
…pending FCC approval, the specter-like Zune Phone will hit the streets sometime in May, a full month before the iPhone.
They’re going to throw together a device in the next three months?
You have to be kidding me. Even Microsoft isn’t that stupid. They spent five years making Origami. Over a year making a simple music device. And you’re going to tell me they’re going to essentially toss these things together not even six months after they release Zune 1.0? You’re saying that they are ready to stab at all of their mobile handset partners in the back barely a year after they finally gained a significant foothold on the market? Even Microsoft isn’t that stupid.
And then there’s the Zune.
The Zune Phone would seriously undermine the regular Zune if it has the feature CrunchGear mentions:
The Zune Phone remedies this by allowing you to share music not via WiFi, but via WiMax, so that anyone on your friends list who is online can sample your music, and vice versa. By using the mobile WiMax network, you can be in New York and your friend can be in San Jose and you can send him that Shins song you like.
Cool. Okay, so who the fuck want to buy the shitty regular Zune that only works at voice range now when you have to compare its neutered sharing feature to that of its phone counterpart. Come on! It hasn’t even been six months since the Zune was released. Releasing a Zune Phone would bury Microsoft’s ambitions of gaining any significant lower tier market share.
Lastly, it took Apple three years to make the beautiful UI of the iPhone. It is the brain child of years of development on the phone plus the knowledge gleamed from the iPod. Now Microsoft is going to release a Zune-killing Zune Phone when the Zune 1.0 isn’t even polished? They’re going to add a significant amount of new features to the Zune, including dealing with the number-pad issue, and tossing in a browser, and still do it in only six months after the Zune’s initial release?
Apple didn’t rush its iPhone out because it wanted to enter the super-crowded cell phone market with machine guns blazing. If Microsoft enters it with a half-assed rushed phone, it will get slaughtered. Apple has an additional edge due to consumers practically begging for years for an iPhone to be released. That’s the only reason their phone is getting so much attention. Microsoft can’t fight toe-to-toe with Apple on this, especially not with a rushed product.
Besides, their real competitor in the cell phone market isn’t Apple; it’s that other 99% market share that is held tightly by wireless monopolies, proven smart phone manufacturers with an entrenched corporate customer base, and the very partners Microsoft would stab in the back by releasing this phone.
This would be an interesting development, but it’s pure speculative garbage at this point. If Microsoft really did this, it would be a huge, retarded move.