updated 10:20 am EST, Fri February 6, 2009
Zune Phone Spec Leak
Microsoft's rumored in-house smartphone is actually a reference design for Zune-themed phones, say sources of reporter Mary Jo Foley. Rather than stand as Microsoft's own products, multiple reference Zune phones are being made that third parties can use as the inspiration for their own models. The company hopes to play cellphone makers against each other to produce one or more particularly strong Zune-capable devices.
Most information about what the example Zune devices involve isn't known, though Windows Mobile 7 is believed to be the primary focus and would include a Zune interface as a subset alongside features like theSkyBox 2.0 online data storage service. At least one of the reference phones is believed to include an NVIDIA Tegra processor that would let it play 720p video and render more complex 3D graphics.
If verified and based on the next-generation mobile operating system, production Zune phones wouldn't likely be available until April 2010, which is gaining support as the official launch window for the first Windows Mobile 7 devices. It would come roughly three years after the iPhone and 3.5 years after Microsoft's first Zunes.