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Zune Phone at MWC?

The Mobile World Congress (MWC) kicks off two weeks from today, and for sure there will be no shortage of new phones announced at the big show. A Spanish blog is claiming that Microsoft (s msft) will be showing the mythical Zune phone at the MWC. A Zune phone has been rumored for as long as I can remember, and Microsoft has previously said “no way” to producing one. But the Spanish blog is claiming that a Zune phone announcement is “100 percent confirmed.”

A Zune phone makes perfect sense for Microsoft to compete with the iPhone. The new Zune players have a user interface that is top-notch and far better than anything that has appeared on the company’s Windows Mobile side. Microsoft is of course keeping mum about what they may be announcing at the MWC, although it’s widely expected that the next big version of Windows Mobile — version 7 — should make an appearance. A Zune phone would sure shake things up in the smartphone world and this geek would love to see one show up at MWC.

The rumored Zune phone is said to be using the Nvidia (s nvda) Tegra chipset, which handles advanced graphics on mobile devices. How advanced? Just take a look at the video we shot of the Tegra at the CES. We saw firsthand that the Tegra chipset can handle very intense graphics without missing a beat.

It is an interesting dilemma should Microsoft produce a Zune phone. Its entire Windows Mobile business model is predicated on providing the platform for business partners to exploit to advantage. Should the company decide to produce its own Zune phone, the business model may get shaken. That same observation could be made about the Google (s goog) Nexus One phone.

(via Gizmodo)

11 Responses to “Zune Phone at MWC?”

  1. I had the opportunity to play with a ZuneHD a while ago (see my blog). The interface is indeed flawless, the OLED display is beautiful and video playback was impressive.

    For it to be a phone though, MS will have to bump up it’s size – the 3.3″ screen is too small IMO. Battery life would also play a far more important role, and I’m not sure if MS will go with a removable battery. The current ZuneHD lacks bluetooth as well – a requirement on a smartphone.

    I don’t see a Zune phone product interfering with WM7, as the former would be heavily consumer focused while the latter could be geared for business. That said, a 4″ ZuneHD with beefier battery and sim card slot would have immediate appeal to many consumers, especially folks already happy with the many other tricks the current ZuneHD can do.

  2. I’m unsure about the Zune Phone, but I will say that a credible rumor I heard was that Nvidia will be at MWC. You can put two and two together there, but I think it is pretty safe to say that Tegra will play very big in to the future of WM 7 and any other side ventures such as the Zune Phone, if it in fact exists.

  3. Walter Rothschild IV

    Don’t see this as anything but COPYING THE IPHONE. How original for those Redmond folks. Will they ever think up anything themselves, they always seem to just copy other peoples products and ideas. My understanding is the Zune is more closed than even the iPhone for developers and how big is that Zune App Store ? I would think serious Smartphone user would have already migrated from the WinMo platform to a Android, iPhoneOS or WebOS platform by now. Only dwindling MS mobile diehards would go for such a device. Looks like no real competition to Apple in this space.

  4. GoodThings2Life

    If it’s the size of the 120GB Zune but has a touch screen and ditch the Zune squircle button, I’m in! Of course, I’d like a good high-res screen too … not the claimed 478×272 res by the source site. That would put it on par with the Zune HD which is too dang small.

    • Tesla Owner

      I think Android and iPhone already has “seamless” Exchange support. You don’t need WinMo for your outlook fix anymore. It may be time for you to upgrade to a more modern mobile OS me thinks.

  5. I think it would make a lot of sense for MS to produce a zPhone (hope they don´t call it that…) for the consumer market.
    Zune for consumers, WinMo for the professionals, what´s wrong with that?

  6. If Microsoft had come up with a Zune Phone about a year and a half ago, I would have been in. At this point, I don’t see how they could produce something that could pull be away from Android.