Microsoft planned to release a cheaper Surface Duo with a plastic design
Microsoft has released two foldable products to date, having cancelled the Surface Neo. However, an eBay listing appears to show that a fourth model got a fair way into development before being shelved. Listed as a Surface Duo 2 dev unit, Windows Central believes that it is actually a cheaper alternative to the Surface Duo 2.
Purportedly, the device in question was sold to an unknown buyer, with eBay having since deleted the listing. According to Zac Bowden, Microsoft codenamed the device 'Cronos' and intended to sell it later this year. Bowden adds that Microsoft stopped developing Cronos late last year in favour of a next-generation Surface Duo. Although the Surface Duo 2 Lite or Surface Duo Go was on track for a 2022 release, Bowden states that the Surface Duo 3 will not arrive until the end of 2023.
Allegedly, Microsoft based Cronos on an 'upper mid-range' Qualcomm chipset; Bowden has not detailed what chipset this was, but it would have powered flat displays and dual rear-facing cameras. Ultimately, Cronos resembles a cross between the Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2 in a cheaper chassis. For now, Bowden believes that Microsoft will continue to establish the Surface Duo series with flagships before turning to cheaper models at a later date.