Microsoft might make its own smartphone to kickstart sales of its Windows 8 mobile software, a Wall Street analyst said.
"Our industry sources tell us that Microsoft may be working with a contract manufacturer to develop their own handset for Windows Phone 8," wrote Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund in a note to clients on Thursday.
"It is unclear to us whether this would be a reference platform or whether this may be a go-to market Microsoft-branded handset," wrote Sherlund.
The unconfirmed information comes a day after the Microsoft unveiled
its latest Windows Phone 8 software, and earlier the same week announced
an own-brand 'Surface' tablets.
Microsoft's earnings has been based on software sales. However, Apple's success with the iPhones and iPads show that making both hardware and software could lead have benefits.
Microsoft's poor sales of Windows phones so far could also push the company make its own-branded smartphone. Microsoft is already cooperating with struggling Nokia, which supports the Windows phone software platform. This means that Microsoft could easier step into mobile hardware by acquiring Nokia, although this would bring Microsoft into competition with Samsung, HTC and Huawei, which are expected to bring out new Windows 8 phones later this year.
In April 2010, Microsoft developed
a phone in-house called Kin aiming the low-end smartphone market. The company pulled off the market both models of the phones months after their launch.