Here in the world of mobile, it’s very rare that we’re genuinely surprised by anything, with the Nokia 808 PureView standing out as one of the few shockers of the past few years.
But while the rumour radar is generally great at picking up, well, pretty much everything, it also has a tendency to pick up a bunch of stuff that never comes to anything.
Occasionally the rumours are driven by logic (maybe it makes sense for someone to release a big phone, or a small phone, or a cheap phone…), or maybe there are prototypes kicking around.
In either case, whether logic or prototype, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the phone will ever see the light of day.
Here, in no particular order, are four phones that we reckon might never happen, despite persistent rumours. Actually, it’s more like three phones – and one that I’ve kinda made up. Let’s rock!
Microsoft Surface smartphone
With Microsoft’s foray into tablets with the Surface Pro and Surface RT, and Ballmer’s promise of more hardware, it stands to reason then that M$ would follow up with a Surface smartphone, right?
Well, no, not really.
Microsoft was reportedly quite strict when it came to Windows 8 tablet manufacturers, even going as far as to deny HTC the right to make such tablets at first. Or so the story goes.
Over in the world of mobile, however, Microsoft has its trusty ally Nokia. Casey McGee, senior marketing manager for Windows Phone, recently purred: “I am very happy with the relationship and the ability to influence what they are doing."
Similarly, Windows Phone chief Terry Myerson yelled: "It would have to be something where Nokia or HTC was not providing the consumer experience we think is possible with our platform.”
And the last thing Microsoft needs is Nokia buggering off to make Android phones.
Amazon Kindle smartphone
The Amazon Kindle smartphone has been rumoured for almost two years now, ever since the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet first appeared. But, unsurprisingly, it’s failed to materialise.
We figure the Amazon Kindle Fire made perfect sense. Rewinding back to 2011, Amazon had already established itself with the ultra-popular Kindle e-reader, and the Kindle Fire was essentially a full colour version with a wallet-friendly price tag. What’s not to like?
But we’re struggling to see how an Amazon Kindle smartphone would fit in. Who would buy it? Why would they buy it? Would it be high-end? Low-end? Nah, we’re not buying it (literally or figuratively).
This one is all the rage at the moment, as Apple threatens to unleash a ton of iProducts on the world in the second half of 2013. Yep, it’s the budget iPhone with its plastic shell.
Again, we come back to why? Apple has a reputation for selling premium products. Remember the wallet-friendly £200 MacBook? Me neither. That’s because it never happened.
One theory is that the budget iPhone would help Apple gain more smartphone OS market share, but what do those figures mean anyway? The profit on low-end phones is minimal at best, and it’s not like emerging markets have a ton of cash lying around to spend on apps.
We’ll stick £50 on ‘Not happening’ please.
The perfect phone
The “perfect” phone is probably subjective, but even putting personal preferences like size aside, there always seems to be something wrong with phones; that niggling thing that makes you think twice about shelling out.
Maybe it doesn’t have a microSD card slot (HTC One), or it looks nicer than it feels and threatens to smash if it falls (Sony Xperia Z), or comes utterly stuffed with bloatware (Samsung Galaxy S4).
Will it ever happen? We can but dream.