Another day, another Microsoft leak reported by the folks at Gizmodo. This time it is two models (Turtle, Pure) of Microsoft’s long rumored Pink phone:
These phones are going to be made by Sharp, who’ll get to share branding with Microsoft. Sharp produced the Sidekick hardware for Danger, who was bought by Microsoft two years ago. Pink will be primarily aimed at the same market as the Sidekick, and the branding and identity for it is highly developed, pointing toward a later stage in the development cycle.
The prior relationship between Danger and Sharp is the only reason we can think of why Microsoft stuck with Sharp for the new phones, and perhaps why they look so much like remixed Sidekicks. The youth bent is somewhat surprising, if Pink is going to be their big consumer phone play, building off the expertise of Danger and members of the Zune team.
We mentioned the Danger acquisition in February 2008 at which point it looked like just a software play. The Sharp-Danger Sidekick itself was billed as a "hiptop" device that was smaller than a laptop or netbook but bigger than a cell phone, and the photos of the apparently chunky Pink phones do nothing to dispel that same impression. Moreover, the idea of a new form factor is a convenient way to avoid overtly antagonizing Microsoft’s main line cell phone partners who are dutifully licensing Windows Mobile. Still, would you want to buy your smart phone OS from a serious competitor?
So is Pink Microsoft’s answer to the iPhone or just a demo? Time will tell.