Microsoft was said to be working on a folding, dual-screen smartphone that was planned to be released at the end of this year. But things have apparently changed.
According to Paul Thurrott, a long-time Microsoft-watcher and reliable source for all-things Redmond, Microsoft has decided to go back to the drawing board on the device, which is codenamed Andromeda. Instead of launching it later this year, Microsoft will instead redesign its hardware and software, Thurrott's sources say.
Microsoft was concerned that Andromeda's hardware-software mix wouldn't create "a compelling solution that would move the needle," according to Thurrott. Therefore, the company is working on a new option.
Now, Microsoft is planning to release the dual-screen Andromeda in 2019. And although it's unknown exactly when the company plans to launch the device, Thurrott's sources believe it would likely happen towards the latter part of the year. He added that Microsoft is especially concerned about releasing a smartphone that doesn't reflect well on the Surface brand, which could prompt the company to push back its release if things don't look right the second time around.
Microsoft, of course, was late to see the major shift in smartphones coming when the iPhone hit store shelves more than a decade ago. Since then, the company has tried to catch up with its own devices and help from Nokia. Microsoft has been an also-ran in mobile.
Creating a dual-screen smartphone could help differentiate a Surface phone from the iPhone, but it might also put it in direct competition with Samsung, which is said to be launching a foldable smartphone called the Galaxy X. It's possible Andromeda would compete directly with Samsung's upcoming flagship, which is said to measure 7 inches when unfolded.
Looking ahead, Microsoft will continue to work on Andromeda, according to Thurrott. But if the next option isn't the right option, the company will continue to work on it until it gets it right.