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Microsoft Surface Smartphone Heading to China First?

By - Source: China Tech News | B 10 comments

Chinese electronics chain Suning will reportedly get the Surface smartphone first.

China Tech News reports that Microsoft's rumored Surface smartphone will actually launch in China first.

The Chinese local media reports that Jean-Philippe Courtois, Microsoft's global executive vice president and Microsoft worldwide president, recently visited the new headquarters of Suning, a Chinese consumer electronic retail chain, located in Nanjing. There he spoke with Suning chairman Zhang Jindong, and the two reached a two-year agreement spanning e-commerce, product sales, and marketing.

Part of this agreement, according to the local media, includes Microsoft's Surface smartphone that's rumored to be hitting the market in mind-2013. While the Redmond company has yet to officially announce the existence of a self-branded smartphone, the locals claim that it will first be sold through the retail channels of Suning.

While visiting Suning, Courtois also reportedly talked with the chairman about the launch of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 in China. Microsoft supposedly said that it will consider Suning as its prior sales channel for these two new products.

China's Suning electronics chain is one of Microsoft's biggest channel partners overseas. The two began working together back in 2007 to promote the pre-installation of genuine operating systems. Microsoft launched Windows experience stores in Suning stores shortly after that, and then chose Suning as the 3C channel for the debut on Windows 7 in mainland China.

News of Microsoft's deal with Suning follows a report that claims Microsoft has chosen Foxconn as the manufacturer of its rumored Surface smartphone. Slated for a mid-2013 release, it will sport the latest build of Windows Phone 8 – perhaps the next build of Windows Phone 8 beyond the rumored 8.1 (or Apollo Plus) update, implementing performance enhancements and bug fixes while launching new exclusive features.

But selling the phone exclusively in China first sounds a little outside the Microsoft box. After all, that's not how it handled the Surface RT tablet which launched in October. That said, take this report with a grain of salt until additional information is provided.

 

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  • 2 Hide
    arnoldlouie , November 30, 2012 2:09 PM
    This is good..so they can make china phone replicas asap..
  • 5 Hide
    JamesSneed , November 30, 2012 2:14 PM
    Assuming they are made in China so they don't have to ship them overseas. Makes since to me.
  • -1 Hide
    Gundam288 , November 30, 2012 2:43 PM
    Inb4 new report of it being delayed due to more workers jumping off roofs at Foxconn again.
  • -6 Hide
    halcyon , November 30, 2012 2:48 PM
    They can have it...not remotely interested.
  • 3 Hide
    friskiest , November 30, 2012 3:37 PM
    halcyonThey can have it...not remotely interested.


    Okay,. Uhmm,. why the effort to post here in the first place?

    BTW,. I'm wondering if MS would follow Google's practice of putting the latest Android version on their own phone first (the Nexus) before letting other makers get it, you know, something to make it a little more special than the rest.
  • 2 Hide
    Max Collodi , November 30, 2012 5:01 PM
    Since China is the worlds largest smartphone market, it makes a lot of sense.
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , December 1, 2012 5:49 AM
    Max CollodiSince China is the worlds largest smartphone market, it makes a lot of sense.

    Thank god, before some ignorant Tom's reader would say that they're "testing the waters" in "emerging markets"...
  • -1 Hide
    halcyon , December 1, 2012 7:52 AM
    friskiestOkay,. Uhmm,. why the effort to post here in the first place?

    So that it's plainly obvious that I believe that with the present crop of Android and iOS offerings that I believe MS is wasting their time in this "me-too" endeavor. Is that more clear for you?
  • 0 Hide
    victorintelr , December 1, 2012 2:32 PM
    halcyonSo that it's plainly obvious that I believe that with the present crop of Android and iOS offerings that I believe MS is wasting their time in this "me-too" endeavor. Is that more clear for you?

    Your second post makes sense and no, it's not obvious. just saying:
    halcyonThey can have it...not remotely interested.

    doesn't mean anything more than what you stated: ...not remotely interested. However it doesn't state why. It could be because you might not like smartphones at all, or just because you hate MS, or because you don't like things launched elsewhere first, it could mean many things, I won't know which one is true because not everyone in Tom's Hardware knows you. However from all your other posts that you have done before, I have a feeling that you like apple, or how others would say, isheep (though I don't necessarily agree with that term).
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , December 2, 2012 8:47 AM
    ^ Okay, fair enough. This is a wasted endeavor by Microsoft, to me, because while I like Windows fine on a PC I also have learned to accept its shortcomings. In particular, the new "modern" tile UI is not an advantage to me. To me (notice how I'm careful not to glue my opinion to others?) the tile UI is clunkly. ...and NOT something I'd want to encounter in a dark alley...or on a phone. I'm not sure what real advantages an MS branded phone offers that a iOS or Android device does not. I have heard it offers to bring its desktop related problems to the phone, however, like crashing for no good reason.

    BTW, while I no longer own an iPhone or any Apple Macs I don't mind being labeled an iSheep. It makes some feel better to label others but I concern myself with it not.