Microsoft Reportedly Developing a Smartphone to Challenge Apple’s iPhone

Microsoft is rumored to be testing a new hardware design for a smartphone that, if introduced to market, could challenge iOS and Android-powered devices across the smartphone spectrum.

Speaking in confidence with sources close to the hush-hush project, the Wall Street Journal says Microsoft is now working with component suppliers in Asia to “test its own smartphone design.”

Microsoft’s plan – if the rumor mill is accurate – would be to more closely emulate Apple’s winning mobile device business strategy.

One person said that the screen of Microsoft’s smartphone currently being tested measures between four and five inches. Apple’s newest smartphone, the iPhone 5, has a four-inch screen, while Samsung’s Galaxy S III phone has a 4.8-inch screen.

“We’re quite happy this holiday [season] going to market hard with Nokia,” Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer told the WSJ earlier this week, giving no indication that Microsoft is developing hardware. “Whether we had a plan to do something different or we didn’t have a plan I wouldn’t comment in any dimension.”