Microsoft says it has no plans to make smartphones

Contrary to analyst report, tablets are the only new Microsoft-built products coming

Microsoft has no plans to build its own smartphones, contrary to a report from an analyst last week.

Greg Sullivan, senior marketing manager for Windows Phone, said in an interview that Microsoft has no plans to build its own smartphones even though Microsoft is indeed building its own Surface tablets. InformationWeek first reported his comments, which were confirmed independently with Microsoft.

A spokeswoman said Sullivan's comments were accurate and added: "We are big believers in our hardware partners and together we're focused on bringing Windows Phone 8 to market with them."

A report from a Nomura analyst last week said Microsoft may already be working with a contract manufacturer on building handsets. The analyst said it wasn't a surprising move, given the Surface tablet announcement.

Microsoft's biggest Windows Phone manufacturer is Nokia, which makes the Lumia line of Windows Phone 7 devices. The Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system, announced last week and due for release in the fall, is expected to draw in several other phone manufacturers as well as Nokia with new smartphones on that platform, including Samsung, the largest Android manufacturer.

WP8 won't run on existing Windows Phones, which some analysts believe could hurt Nokia sales in the next few months before WP8 launches.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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