Microsoft Surface Phone 2016 release date, rumors: SD 830 or Kaby Lake equipped smartphone to launch next month; release date moved to 2017?

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There has already been much discussion online regarding Microsoft's new product, the Microsoft Surface Phone, which is set to make the company relevant once again in the smartphone market. Their previously released Windows Mobile-equipped Lumia smartphones were not that well received by the public, and now Microsoft is expected to pull out all the stops with their latest product.

For the past few months, the existence of the Microsoft Surface Phone was pretty much still debatable, but a newly uncovered patent application seems to now confirm that the new Windows 10 smartphone may indeed be in the works. The patent itself is for a fingerprint scanner system that is reportedly going to be for the new Surface Phone. Microsoft's scanner seems to be a unique take on the biometric system as it apparently will be imbedded into a transparent sheet somewhere on the surface of the smartphone.

Several reports have also revealed that the Surface Phone will likely be sporting some very high-end hardware as it will be catering to the professional and business markets. This means that the device will likely be equipped with the latest technology currently available, and that it will allegedly include Intel's latest Kaby Lake processor.

Other reports, however, have claimed that a Kaby Lake CPU may be unlikely and that Microsoft may opt to incorporate a Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 chipset instead. It is also suggested that Microsoft may be releasing three distinct variants of the device in order to capture a larger group of buyers in the smartphone market. There will likely be a top-end 6-inch display model, a smaller-screened mid-end model, and a budget model with watered-down specs.

As for the device's release date, reports have speculated that Microsoft may be launching the device next month, but it would most likely be early in 2017 before it becomes available to the public.