Samsung and the Surface Phone – Premium

This week, we saw two major forces in the industry publicly acknowledge their alliance and their efforts to work closer together. Samsung and Microsoft took the stage at Samsung’s Unpacked event to talk about their collaboration and how they will be working closer together in the mobile space.

These two mega-corporations have one key thing in common: neither have a mobile operating system. Samsung currently uses Android for its devices and while it does have Tizen, it has not reached wide-scale availability in the premium space on mobile devices and it likely never will. And for Microsoft, we all know the story; they lost billions trying to make Windows Phone a success.

But when you combine Samsung and Microsoft’s efforts, you have a hardware company who knows how to make premium phones and a software company who has built out launchers, applications, and services that run at enterprise-scale. And the fact that the CEOs of both companies were on stage talking about their partnership, this all but kills the idea that Microsoft is building a true Surface phone.

Why? First, how awkward would it be if Microsoft inked a partnership with Samsung to build unique features that integrate Android and Windows 10 together to then turn around and ship their own competing hardware? Second, does anyone think that Microsoft could build a phone that offers more premium features than the Note 10 with the quality of the Note series of devices?

The truth is that despite pleas to Panos and Microsoft, this is likely as close as we will ever get to a true Surface Phone and that is more than likely, just fine. If you are holding out for a phone based on Windows 10, don’t hold your breath, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see smaller form factor Windows-based devices that do have LTE/5G connectivity.

This arrangement makes a lot of sense for both Samsung and Microsoft. Both companies have a common corporate enemy, Google. If you go back and watch the keynote, count how many times Samsung said Android on stage, I believe the answer might be 0 and if not, it was highly restricted when compared to previous events.

The point here is that Samsung and Microsoft can work together to build a better mobile experience for software and hardware than either company could independently. Samsung can leverage the fact that its phones work better with Windows 10 than any other device and Microsoft can leverage Samsung to help sell its mobile services to enterprise customers – it’s a unity that makes a lot of sense as neither company is likely to venture into the other’s territory.

With features like answering your phone calls coming to Windows 10 from a Note 10, and other deep integrations, Microsoft has found a mobile device experience that matches what it would have built if it was selling its own Surface phone. Because let’s face it, at this point, if there was a Surface Phone, do you really think it would run Windows? And if it did run Andro...

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