Nokia boss Stephen Elop says special buddy Microsoft has no plans to launch its own Windows Phone hardware anytime soon, despite rumours to that effect continuing to gather pace.
In an interview with AllThingsD, Elop said he had “no indication” that Microsoft's mobile hardware plans extended beyond the Windows 8-powered Surface tablet, and said he was happy with Nokia's relationship as Microsoft's primary smartphone hardware partner.
Claims that a Microsoft Windows Phone was in the works first emerged via the China Times, which reported a couple of days ago that the handset had been in development for all of four months already, and would launch in the first half of 2013.
Lewis quite rightly had the salt cellar firmly in hand while typing the whole thing up a couple of days ago, but new rumours have emerged to suggest it might be time to put down the seasoning and believe.
Reputable tech site BGR reckons its own (unnamed) sources have confirmed the story's legitimacy, claiming:
“Microsoft is quietly working on an own-brand smartphone that will compete directly with high-end devices like Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S III, and also with Windows Phones built by its own vendor partners, of course.”
Which brings us neatly back to Elop and Nokia - the biggest losers if the news was indeed true as it would mark a clear sign that Microsoft doesn't think the partnership, or Windows Phone 8 for that matter, is going as planned.
“I have no indications they are planning to do their own phone,” Elop said in the AllThingsD interview. “They can do it if they so choose.”
Reading between the lines, then, if Microsoft is building its own phone, it's doing so apparently in secret, without the knowledge of its leading Windows Phone partner – or anyone else's for that matter.
And it's for that reason we still find the notion hard to believe. Which of course by no means proves it isn't true.