Microsoft is throwing a party for the media, and it is widely speculated the guest of honor will be the two “Pink” phones the company has been rumored to be working on for a good while. The Pink phones are thought to be an internal project in Redmond being designed by the team that produced the endangered Sidekick phones. Microsoft bought Danger a few years ago and brought the Sidekick makers into the fold to work on a secret project. It is now expected the fruits of that secret project are going to be announced on April 12. What’s not clear is why would Microsoft want to do its own phone line.
The business model that Microsoft has used in the phone world is that of a platform builder and supplier to OEMs that actually make (and sell) the phones. Project Pink flies in the face of that and has long been thought to be “Sidekick-like phones” that Microsoft is going to sell under its own brand. That is a whole new business model, and it seems to this author that becoming a direct competitor to its phone partners in the Windows Mobile space would not be well received. Microsoft is aware of that and has publicly stated they will not make a Microsoft phone, so Pink is as unclear as ever, if that is indeed what will be announced.
The Pink phones are thought to be built for Microsoft by Sharp, a big player in the consumer electronics space. They are expected to capitalize on the strengths of the beleaguered Sidekick phones, and add social networking into the communication mix. The phones will most likely run an entirely new phone OS built by Microsoft’s Danger team. That may send a very nasty message to the smartphone makers — if Microsoft decides to compete with them and isn’t even comfortable enough with its upcoming Windows Phone 7 platform to use it for its own phones.
Image courtesy of Gizmodo
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