Zune Phone: Coming In Two Months?

I thought it was finally over. Just when I get comfortable not seeing those words, they came up again, and this time with a surprisingly short time-table attached. According to Jefferies & Company analyst Katherine Egbert, Microsoft is planning to launch a new phone based on Windows Mobile 7, which they describe as being “Zune-like”. Yes, that’s right. The Zune Phone is back.

“Our recent industry checks indicate Microsoft will be debuting its own phone sometime in the next two months,” Egbert said. “We expect the new phone to debut soon, at either the Feb 15-18 Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona Spain, or possibly at CTIA in Las Vegas one month later.”

She says that Microsoft will be teaming up with “a few OEM manufacturers” in a similar way that Google did with HTC for the Nexus One to bring to market a cellular device that has 750p HD video capabilities, at least a 5MP camera, and that will run Windows Mobile 7. 

“Revenue from the phone is also very unlikely to be meaningful for many years,” she said, though her reasoning seems a little strange. “However, the new phone might explain why Microsoft has allowed WinMo to dwindle to less than 10 percent mobile OS market share. Pink would be the ‘third screen’ (after Windows and Xbox) and [the] final component in Microsoft’s ’3 screens and a cloud’ strategy.”

The things she says about the device seem to tie in nicely to rumors about a media edition of Windows Mobile 7 that boasts the “Microsoft Zune Phone Experience.” The device would allegedly have HD video, a Zune-like music player, and streaming media, as well as Silverlight, Mediaroom, Xbox Live (possibly gameplay), Facebook and Twitter interfaces (similar to Xbox), and Zune Music integration.

[via Ars Technica]

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