Zune Phone over Microsoft's MNVO
Is there a Zune phone in Microsoft's future? That's almost a certainty according to Chris Stephenson GM of Zune Marketing. Apple won't go it alone converting its popular media player technology into a cell phone. Fans of the new iPhone say it stands to revolutionize the current genre of media phones. You can bet Microsoft will be looking closely at how Apple plays in this new market space, likely laying the ground work for Microsoft to follow.
A while back Engadget postulated on what a Microsoft Zune phone would look like. According to the web-log's sources Microsoft has been working on an MNVO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) this allows them to resell mobile network access through its own brand. Zune has some limited wi-fi capabilities. A fully wi-fi, Windows Mobile powered media Phone under its Zune brand seems like the logical outcome. Perhaps it'll even have iPhone's cool position tracking touch screen.
No details are known at this time, it's all just speculation. With Microsoft's desire to make Zune/Live into a lifestyle brand you can bet in near future we'll be spending Microsoft credit/points on "minutes" from its own MNVO service.
Here is a snip of the conversation that told the world that yes indeed a Zune Phone is coming.
Reporter: "Any thoughts on how you can compete as cell phones become more prevalent as far as MP3 playing technology?"
Chris Stephenson, GM, Zune marketing: "As I said earlier on, the entire Zune platform and brand is about a family of devices. So to the degree that phones and other products exist in the family going forward, absolutely, that's definitely where this is all going."
Reporter: "So a Zune phone is somewhere over the horizon?"
Stephenson: "There is a possibility for a Zune phone, yes."
Later, another reporter: "You raised the possibility of a Zune phone. Does that mean it's going to be a Zune-branded phone, or is it going to be a phone made by someone else with the Zune software on it?"
Stephenson: "We don't have any specifics to announce on that. I think what I was saying is that a Zune phone is definitely part of the future of this brand. We really don't have any specifics to announce right now."