Microsoft could bring an own-branded Windows Phone 8 smartphone to market, reports suggest, as it bids to stimulate demand for handsets running its operating system.
Suggestions that the company is planning an own-branded phone stem from a Digitimes report claiming that Microsoft has entered into talks with Apple's primary manufacturing partner Foxconn with a view to launching a smartphone during the middle of 2013.
The phone will apparently run Windows Phone 8 rather than a newer version of the platform, as might have been expected, and will be produced in limited quantities only.
It is likely that the smartphone will feature the same Surface branding as Microsoft’s recently launched Windows 8-powered tablets, despite the somewhat muted critical and commercial response they have received.
Figures from analysts at IDC from earlier this month revealed that shipments of Windows phones in the last quarter stood at just 3.6 million, underscoring the struggle they have faced to attract consumers from rival operating systems. That compares with 136 million for kits running Android.
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