The speculation surrounding the possible launch of products in this last month has been at the greatest I’ve known for a long time. One of those products is the much heralded Zune phone, but will it happen?
Certainly the evidence is good. Microsoft recently posted a job ad for a Zune test engineer with…
Working knowledge of cell-phone 2G and 3G technologies
They have also announced certain details about the forthcoming Windows Mobile 7. They have said that it will come in Professional and Media variants which hints strongly at the Zune software and interface being integrated into the mobile OS.
Finally there’s the fact that the Zune itself and the newer Zune HD media players haven’t been doing well sales-wise, and a Microsoft Zune Phone could offer the brand a much needed shot in the arm.
But will it actually happen? I don’t think so. Microsoft isn’t the type of company that most people would expect to launch it’s own phone handset. Even the Google-branded phone was made by premier handset manufacturer HTC, as HTC proudly display on their own website. So it’s not a Google phone at all.
I really don’t expect to see a Microsoft-branded phone appear, well at any time really. It’s much more likely that the Zune brand will be heavily promoted as part of Windows Mobile 7 Media Edition. This is something that will not only give a huge boost to Zune but also to the image of Windows mobile and to the fortunes of a great many handset manufacturers, many of whom have tried and failed to provide a phone media player experience that’s as good as the iPhone.
I may be wrong on this, but I believe the fevered speculation that’s appeared should be tempered by some common sense. While it would certainly make for an interesting product, it just doesn’t seem very likely.