While smartphone enthusiasts have been restlessly waiting for Microsoft to unveil its Surface Phone, the Redmond-based software giant has teased fans again with a new shred of information about the highly anticipated device.

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If rumors running rampant online are anything to go by, Microsoft is hard at works on a next-generation smartphone that tech pundits believe will launch later this year. It can also be recalled that Microsoft's chief executive, Satya Nadella had indicated that the company is working on the "ultimate mobile device."

While speaking to Business Insider, Ryan Gavin, Microsoft General Manager for Surface added more fuel to the already burning rumors about the Surface Phone by revealing an interesting piece of information regarding the purported handset.

Mr. Gavin shed more light on the new Surface line-up which comprised a radically overhauled Surface Pro, a newfangled Surface Laptop, and desktop titan, Surface Studio.

While this array of Microsoft's in-house devices is nothing short of impressive, something was still missing -- allegedly the long awaited and most compelling personal computing device, the smartphone. Meanwhile, the internet is brimming with all sorts of speculations surrounding a high-end smartphone made by Corporate VP for Surface Computing Panos Panay in collaboration with creators of the Surface Studio, Surface Book, and the Surface Pro 4.

The burning question on everyone's mind, when is it arriving?

Back in December 2015 multiple sources reported that Microsoft has given a Surface Phone its stamp of approval for a 2016 launch, despite the lack of an official announcement.

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Aside from that, there was hearsay about Intel's big involvement with the project in the bid to build a smartphone that eliminates the disparity between a mobile productivity device and a smartphone.

While nothing is set in stone yet, some optimistic tech buffs claim that Microsoft is indeed gearing up to introduce its own smartphone sooner rather than later. Even if the company decides to beef up its already well-received Surface range by launching a smartphone, the device is highly unlikely to bear any sort of resemblance to the conventional phone today.

Speaking to the Australian Financial Review, Nadella made a similar comment in November, last year. He divulged details about the company's plan to stay in the phone market not characterized by the current-generation market leaders but defined by what the company can exceptionally do in what it deems as the "ultimate mobile device," instead.

Microsoft doesn't want to be envy-driven, but rather focus on what can it bring, and that's exactly where, Nadella said he is willing to consider any device design or any technology, including AI (artificial intelligence).

It is imperative for fans to bear in mind that Microsoft has neither confirmed nor denied rumors about the existence of a Surface Phone, despite making numerous hints. In other words, these reports should be taken with a huge grain of salt.