When Microsoft’s Panos Panay took the stage late last year to introduce the Surface Duo to the world, “the 2020 holidays” was heralded as a retail launch. For many, including myself, this has suggested a fourth quarter appearance for the dual-screen Android device.
Now it looks like we will see the revolutionary device in the coming weeks. Let’s take a look at the clues that are piling up towards a surprising release date.
Let’s start with the paperwork. Surface Duo has achieved a number of certifications in recent weeks, including the US FCC and variants for Canada and Japan. In addition to the regulatory details, you also have Google’s all-important Android compatibility test suite that opens up a number of critically important features:
“This is probably a formality for an Android device, but certification is vital for another part of the Android ecosystem that the public knows about. Google Mobile Services – which is required to have the Google Play Store (and other associated services like Youtube ) – has “Android Compatibility” as part of its requirements. “
Then there are the images, because we also have new images from the device. PR materials leaked via a US carrier – the Surface team may have pushed the line that the Surface Duo isn’t a phone heavily, but still has a cellular data connection. Jon Fingas for Engadget:
“Well-known leaker Evan Blass shared … a series of renders for the Surface Duo as he claims the dual-screen Android device will launch with AT&T. He hasn’t provided version details or pricing, but it’s safe to say the payments monthly could make it easier to justify the unique clamshell device “.
Finally, perhaps the biggest signal comes from long-term Microsoft commentator Paul Thurrott. In addition to taking note of the leaked press material, he also highlighted the briefings to be held in the coming week:
“As I personally noted on Twitter, Microsoft MVPs were invited to attend a virtual Surface briefing, presumably for Duo, on August 12.”
There is a lot of information out there and none of it has a specific date that says “The Surface Duo will launch on this date”, but the momentum is growing and the time is near.
Now read how Android is affecting Microsoft …