A number of rumors like China TimesBoy Genius Report, and WPCentral  claim that Microsoft is working on its own high-end smartphone, to be sold with the same Surface branding as the company will use on its forthcoming tablets.

Taken together, the rumors say that the Microsoft smartphone will come out some time in 2013, and that the change in strategy is due to Windows Phone’s failure to acquire market share, or perhaps discontent with the way Nokia’s “Lumia” brand appears to have gained better traction than the “Windows Phone” brand. The final decision to go ahead with the Surface phone will supposedly rest on the success (or otherwise) of the Windows Phone 8 handsets that will be released later this year (though exactly when they’ll come out remains a mystery, due to Microsoft’s continuing secrecy about the new operating system).