Utilizing a strategy much like the one it is using with Windows 8, Microsoft is now looking to have its cake and eat it too in the smartphone market. With a number of high-profile partners like Nokia (NOK) and Samsung (005930) secured for the launch of Windows Phone 8 later this fall, a trusted source informed BGR several weeks ago that Microsoft is quietly working on an own-brand smartphone that will compete directly with high-end devices like Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 5 and Samsung's Galaxy S III, and also with Windows Phones built by its own vendor partners, of course.
The source said the handset is in the late stages of development and will launch in the coming months. China Times yesterday says the device will launch under the "Surface" branded similar to Microsoft's upcoming tablets.
BGR says it was unable to confirm the exact timing for launch but it will likely be after the release of the first round of Windows Phone 8 devices from other manufacturers.