Is there anything that Microsoft can do at this point to create a substantially larger user base for Windows Phone? At this point things don’t look great, but we wouldn’t completely count Microsoft out just yet. Neowin’s sources say that Microsoft is working on two new smartphones that will both have the most intriguing Windows Phone feature we’ve heard about so far: 3D Touch.
For those who need a refresher, 3D Touch is a new feature that will take advantage of Microsoft’s Kinect technology to make your phone much more responsive to gestures and placements than any other phone now on the market. So for instance, 3D Touch will let you answer your phone just by holding it up to your ear and to turn on speaker phone just by placing your phone down on the table when you’re on a call with someone. You’ll also apparently be able to end your call by putting your phone into your pocket, as Kinect will be able to automatically tell what you’d like to do based on lighting and positioning.
Neowin says that the first device is a phone codenamed “McLaren” that will release by the end of the year and that will feature a 5.2-inch 1080p display with a 20-megapixel camera and 64GB of storage. The second device will be a massive 6-inch phablet that’s on par with the gigantic Lumia 1520 and that may release by the end of the year.
The key in all this is whether Microsoft can show us why 3D Touch is a big differentiator from other smartphones — otherwise, it’s likely to be seen as a Samsung-style gimmick that looks cool at first but is never really used.