When Microsoft’s Panos Panay took to the stage late last year to introduce the world to the Surface Duo, the ‘holiday 2020’ was announced as the retail launch. For many, myself included, that hinted at a fourth quarter arrival for a dual-screen Android device.
Now, it looks like we’ll see the revolutionary device in the next few weeks. Let’s take a look at the clues building up to an amazing release date.
Let’s start with the paperwork. The Surface Duo has received a number of certifications over the past few weeks, including from US FCC and variants for Canada and Japan. In addition to the regulatory details, you also have Google’s absolutely critical Android Compatibility Checker, which opens up a number of extremely important features:
“Arguably this is a formality for an Android device, but certification is important for another part of the Android ecosystem to which the public is already familiar. Google Mobile Services – Google Play is required. Store (and other related services like Youtube) – has ‘Android Compatibility’ as part of the requirements.
Then there is the image, as we also have a new image from the device. The PR documents have been leaked through an American carrier – the Surface team may have stressed that the Surface Duo is not a phone, but it still has a cellular data connection. Jon Fingas for Engadget:
Renowned leakster Evan Blass shared… a series of renderings for the Surface Duo while claiming a dual-screen Android device will be coming with AT&T. He doesn’t provide release or pricing details, but can say that a monthly payment could make it easier to justify the unique clamshell device.
Ultimately, perhaps the biggest signal comes from longtime Microsoft commentator Paul Thurrott. In addition to noting the leaked press documents, he also stressed that the briefings will take place next week:
“As I noted myself on Twitter, Microsoft’s MVPs were invited to a press conference about the virtual Surface, presumably for Duo, on August 12.”
There’s a lot of information out there and none of them have a specific date that says ‘Surface Duo will launch this day’, but dynamics are building and timing is near.
Now read how Android affects Microsoft …