Microsoft Plans to Reenter the Smartphone Market by 2020 with Surface Duo

Carrie Sylvester
Oct 9, 2019

The beginning of Fall saw new flagship phones from Apple and Huawei, but what many might not have noticed is that Microsoft announced its own plans to get back into the phone game. Since the announcement was made as part of a Surface press event, some people might have thought that Microsoft’s newest smartphone would use a Windows OS. Instead, the new Surface device is an Android-based “foldable” smartphone.

Not so long ago, Microsoft announced that it would stop supporting Windows 10 Mobile at the end of 2019. One may have thought that meant they were gone from the smartphone market for good, thus making this a surprise announcement for most.

About the Surface Duo

The Surface Duo was previewed with few official specifications, as it is primarily a concept device that will come to market by the holiday season of 2020. According to Microsoft Product Chief Panos Panay, the new product will be “the first Surface to fit in your pocket.”

What is it?

The Surface Duo, is a smartphone that will feature two 5.6-inch screens that unfold into an 8-inch diagonal measurement when flat, but the device can be used in many different “postures.” Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone, the Duo works as two independent screens when unfolded rather than a single continuous screen.

This is a departure from the norm and might present a challenge for app developers, because they will need to design a new app that is able to work on two screens. No camera details were mentioned during the preview, but the device appears to feature a front-facing camera on both screens. Although the Surface Duo is an exciting announcement in that it marries Microsoft’s Surface hardware design and a variety of productivity tools, no one will want to use the device if it doesn’t include interesting and useful apps that can take advantage of the two screens. As a result, it remains to be seen how receptive the market will be to this new product.

Keypoint Intelligence’s Opinion

There are a lot of interesting components to Microsoft’s newest device—it’s foldable, “pocketable,” and features the power of a Surface device. The Apples and Samsungs of the world probably won’t be too worried about this announcement as Microsoft further develops the Surface Duo and works out all of the kinks in the coming year, but the new device might turn some heads when it finally comes to market in late 2020.

Although it’s nice to see a new (albeit old) player coming to the smartphone space, everyone will unfortunately have to wait a while before seeing how this announcement unfolds. A lot can happen between now and the end of next year, so Microsoft must do its homework to ensure that the Surface Duo is on par with other competing smartphones that will be on the market at that time.

Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends provides ongoing coverage of the ever-evolving mobile imaging market. If you’d like to learn more about our market insights, please contact a member our sales team today!

Receive a weekly summary of recent blogs and other exclusive content.

InfoTrends Resources

New InfoTrends Studies

More blogs from

2016 InfoTrends, Inc.

WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux