Microsoft Surface Phone release date, rumors: New features set for 2017 release?

Reuters/Dado Ruvic
The Microsoft Surface Phone won't be seen in the flesh anytime soon.

It is said that Microsoft has featured improvements and new tech for its upcoming smartphone flagship. Because of this, the company needs to make an adjustment on the Surface Phone's launch schedule.

Previous rumors have suggested that the Surface Phone will make its debut in late 2016, ostensibly to directly compete with other flagships like the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 — the flagship Android device currently out — as well as the iPhone 7. However, with recent reports that Microsoft will be coming out with novel features for its flagship, the Surface Phone is said to have an adjusted schedule, launching in early 2017 instead.

Reports have suggested that, as per Microsoft's patent documents, the company may be thinking of making the entire display of the Surface Phone into a fingerprint scanner. According to Phone Arena, Microsoft has applied for a new patent for a built-in fingerprint sensor, right on the display glass itself. Should this push through for the flagship smartphone, the Surface Phone will have an innovative feature. Most flagship releases either have their fingerprint scanners on the home button only at the bottom front panel or as a separate sensor on the back of the unit, usually under the main camera.

However, having the scanner built in together with the display means that Microsoft may not make it to a late 2016 release for the Surface Phone. Aside from having a more meticulous assembly process, the company will have to wait for the patent to push through first if Microsoft is intent on having the feature on its rumored flagship.

There are talks that Microsoft may opt for the new feature on Surface Phone follow-ups, instead of the original flagship. This seems likely since there may be a long wait between the patent's approval and the technology making it as a useful feature on the device. In addition, Surface Phone lineups getting the new feature is already expected as speculations suggest Microsoft shifting its flagship focus on the Surface Phone, and, in effect, the company will discontinue its current-generation Lumia lineups.

More News in News Briefs