Microsoft says there was broad carrier interest in new Lumia phones, but it stuck with AT&T


Yesterday John Legere got a bit upset when someone suggested that T-Mobile turned down Microsoft’s new Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, saying Microsoft gave them to AT&T in an “old school exclusive.” Now Microsoft has responded, and it seems like John was right.

In a statement issued to PCMag, Microsoft says that it’s “refocusing [its] channel strategy, narrowing it in the short-term and planning for broader operator availability long-term.” Microsoft goes on to say “While there was interest across the board from US operators, currently we’ve made the decision to have AT&T carry the Lumia 950.” Microsoft will also sell the 950 and 950 XL unlocked in its own stores.

PCMag’s Sascha Segan reports that his own sources corroborate Microsoft’s claim, saying that US carriers have shown interest in Windows Phone hardware. However, Microsoft is said to have ignored them, showing no willingness to spend the time or money validating its phones for the CDMA networks of Sprint and Verizon and shunning T-Mobile. Meanwhile, AT&T reportedly only agreed to offer the Lumia 950 because it’s easy to do so and because Microsoft wants a channel for enterprise sales.

So it sounds like there was some carrier interest in Microsoft’s new phones, but that Microsoft ended up giving just one of them to an operator that doesn’t really care all that much about selling it. That’s a disappointment for anyone in the US with the slightest interest in Microsoft’s new Windows phones. The only good bit of news is that Microsoft plans to sell the 950 and 950 XL unlocked, so any T-Mobile customer can buy one and use it on the Magenta network. Of course, the downside to that is T-Mo customers can’t get a new Lumia on an installment or JUMP! plan, and VoLTE is an uncertainty.

Windows Phone, and now Windows 10 Mobile, is a nice platform with a unique UI and software that seems to run smoothly on just about any hardware you throw at it. While it may never steal a huge chunk of marketshare from Android and iOS, it’s odds of doing much of anything are pretty low with Microsoft’s strategy for the 950 and 950 XL, and that’s a bummer for the Windows phones and anyone that’s a fan of them.

Are any of you thinking about buying an unlocked Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL to use on T-Mobile?

Source: PCMag

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  • besweeet

    Microsoft still isn’t doing themselves any favors.

    • nosmohtac

      I agree and don’t like it, but Apple did the same thing and had a 4 year exclusivity agreement with AT&T. It seems they’re doing okay these days.
      I still think it is a terrible decision.

      • Hiro

        That was also a very different time, when it was a pretty unique, revolutionary device back when feature phones were dominate. completely different.

        • orgwizard2000

          This exactly. There was something more compelling to get people to switch to att for the iphone. Ms doesn’t bring anything close to that with their new phones compared to competition. And their app store is still lacking compared to others.
          As others have said, they need to get the phone in a many hands as possible, if for no other reason than to make it more compelling for app devs.

      • lomsha

        Apple was banking on name recognition and their target audience which already loved mac products and it paid off; now apple imposes its will upon carriers which no other manufacturer can do. Microsoft doesn’t have that luxury.

        • kgraham182

          Not true, Apple shipped it phone around to different carrier. AT&T was the only that cared to sell it. Which worked in both favor.

  • Miles

    Suuuuuure there is. HAHAHAH. :)

  • BoltmanLives

    Microsoft went where they wanted , screw the carriers that for years treated WP like cancer and whored for Apple and Galaxy. Att will pas updates unimpeded for the Lumia exactly what a cloud based Windows as a service needs. IF they are popular THEN the other carriers can get involved according to Microsoft terms.

    I’m perfectly fine with this strategy, go where Microsoft Mobile will be treated as a first class citizen.

    Microsoft owns 3% of ATT

    • Hiro

      Thinking like that in the business world is what can bankrupt your company. Microsoft is not in a position to play favorites with carriers, they need to try and get their products into the hands of as many people as possible – and they just left a huuuuuge chunk of Americans without access to it unless they want to spend $550-650 cash up front. Horribly stupid, short sighted view.
      As an iPhone user, I was interested in this phone, but suddenly they lost my interest. I’m happy with my iPhone and I sure as hell am not switching carriers for a different phone. Not worth it.

      • Dean

        Microsoft needs to sell these phones at the lowest possible price point if they are going to do the majority of their sales at the Microsoft store and AT&T. You are correct. People won’t switch from carriers they like.
        You can’t sell your phone at premium price when you have very little market share. Look at how well that had worked for Blackberry in the face of the iPhone/Android avalanche that crushed their market share.

        • BoltmanLives

          Many people will switch IF the product is perceived good enough. Look at Apple people switch even though they know or should know they are overpaying through the nose for that crap

      • Atlic

        How many HTC M8s did TMobile sell. That was supposed to be a flagship for them. Even though I was one of the first ones to try to buy it took them forever to ship it to me. Had to call the customer service line 5-6 times and each time explain to the rep what the heck I am looking for since even their corporate sales people didn’t know that TMO released the windows version phone even after two weeks of its release. Non sold on the stores. I have been with TMO for over a decade and with windows phones since windows mobile days. I love them both but over the last four years their treatment of customers looking for windows hasn’t been great. I’ll buy 950xl from and use it on TMO.

        • Yodani Quezada

          Same issue for me. Because I bought it online, not eligible for Jump!, I paid for insurance on it and was denied through Assurion. It is cracked and dying now and no one will help me upgrade, fix, or replace it. Stuck on T-Mobile paying them for services I could never use.

    • Jason Crumbley

      “screw the carriers that for years treated WP like cancer and whored for Apple and Galaxy”

      What do you think AT&T did, and still does?

      • BoltmanLives

        Att hasn’t had a decent flagship to offer ….

        The 735, Icon was Verizon, The 830 is kind of old and the 640XL is not a flagship

        I don’t blame them too much for not promoting what they had

        I like the 640Xl but its too similar (same cpu) as my 635

  • Rob H.

    Someone didn’t learn from Amazons mistake. Good luck Microsoft.

  • Chris Hilbert

    Fire Phone 2.0

  • VG

    Look for Home Shopping Network and QVC to be selling these Lumias 6 months from now at $200-$250 each after AT&T and Microsoft dump unsold units.

    • Verizonthunder

      Wrong Qvc or HSN will sell the unlocked device on 6 flex payments of $99.99. Oh gets even better we’ll even throw in several bloatware applications with one year subscription’s included. Don’t forget to use flex pay O-o.

  • Stephen Walters

    And this decision means I need to wait for Surface Phone, because I’m on Verizon, and I have no interest in switching to A&T.

  • Chris Siegell

    It almost seems like Microsoft never really intended to have any real market strategy for the Lumia 950/XL, but maybe only a platform to test their new OS. Either this is the case or Microsoft is profoundly stupid, without a clue about the mobile market, and they continue enjoying wasting money and wasting Nokias money. Although I do think that the screen on the Lumia 950/XL is quite average, the plastic build outdated and they would have needed a higher end screen/build to set them apart from the competition.

    • Ordeith

      what competition?

      • Chris Siegell

        Competition from other smartphone manufacturers. Not competetion with Windows phone manufacturers obviously. However, when you put together some of the higher end specs with the 950XL then you get people intrerested as their is just not that much overwelming out their currently in the higer end smartphone market.

  • yaddamaster

    Need to replace my 640 and have been looking forward to the new 950/XL. But this strategy is giving me serious pause. I just don’t see how they are going to make any serious inroads to justify my continuing to stay with the platform. Heck, they can’t even get Google to update Waze.

  • anthonyx26

    Sadly the 950/950xl was a complete waste of an effort.
    What’s long overdue is a surface phone. And it’s not exactly like folks only recently started clamoring for a surface phone… They’ve been doing that for literally years. Too bad Microsoft has lacked so little confidence in the surface brand to pull the trigger on that project. But if rumors are correct we may _finally_ get a surface phone mid-next year… And you can be assured that it will indeed land on all four major US carriers. So a subdued 950/xl launch may be understandable in that case. Keeping fingers crossed.

  • cloud strife

    No wonder their products is having a hard time making a dent in the mobile phone market. It worked on the Iphone before but that was years ago. Time has changed and the competition is tougher. Don’t expect that a customer will move to AT&T because they sell Windows phones just like when the first Iphone was released.

    I would understand if no carrier is interested with your products like the case of Xperia. But if they seem to be interested and you shoved them out of the door, you’ll lose more as you need them more than they need you. Whoever is the higher up who decided that this should be fired.

    • Atlic

      You must not know anything about these phones. Please show me any mid range android with the specs of 950 xl.

  • lomsha

    They never learn.

    • Frank

      Who’s more profitable ATT & Microsoft or Tmo? Does Tmo make any profit?

      • lomsha

        What does tmo profits have to do with anything? I’m just concerned about availability of the phone on more carriers thant at&t.

  • kgraham182

    2 articles on why TMO will not carry these devices, but no specs on these devices. OnePlus 2 doesn’t work properly with this network but there’s many articles on its technical specs. Will this device support TMO bands, what’s the suggested battery life, processors, and memory? Does it have wireless charging, quick charging, expandable storage, or removable battery? What’s the screen resolution and does is support Glance? Does it have a FM radio? Are these devices dual sim? Do they have fingerprint scanners? What stand out features do these devices have that others don’t. What are the chances of these devices receiving future updates. Here’s a tough one, what are the prices and when will they be released?

    • Yodani Quezada

      This device does support T Mobile bands:

      GSM network: 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 1900MHz
      GSM max data speed DL: EGPRS 296.0kbps
      GSM max data speed UL: EGPRS 236.8kbps
      WCDMA network: Band 1 (2100MHz), Band 2 (1900MHz), Band 4 (1700/2100 MHz), Band 5 (850MHz), Band 8 (900MHz)
      WCDMA max data speed DL: 42.2Mbps (Cat 24)
      WCDMA max data speed UL: 5.76Mbps (Cat 6)
      LTE FDD network: Band 1 (2100MHz), Band 17 (700MHz), Band 2 (1900MHz), Band 20 (800MHz), Band 3 (1800MHz), Band 4 (1700/2100 MHz), Band 5 (850MHz), Band 7 (2600MHz), Band 8 (900MHz), Band 28 (700MHz), Band 12 (700MHz)
      TD-LTE network: Band 38 (2570-2620MHz), Band 40 (2300-2400MHz), Band 41 partially (2555-2575 MHz)
      LTE max data speed DL: 300 Mbps (Cat 6)
      LTE max data speed UL: 50 Mbps (Cat 6)

      The 950 that AT&T is getting is a hexa-core snapdragon 808 and the 950XL that Microsoft Stores are selling is a liquid-cooled Snapdragon octo-core 810 processor. Both with 3 GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage upgradable to the theoretical up to 2TB of the MicroSDXC standard. (Samsung dropped SD support for their flagships)

      Battery life is unknown because Windows 10 for mobile isn’t finished yet but the 950 has a REMOVABLE 3000mAh battery and the 950XL has a 3340mAh removable battery. The website states up to a 9-hour web browsing time (screen on time) on wifi.

      It has USB-C quick charging and supports wireless charging.

      The Gorilla Glass 4 2560 x 1440 resolution screen at 518ppi supports super sensitive touch and does support a new version og Glance screen that even shows full color
      It does have and support an FM Radio and are dual SIM
      Both have Windows Hello unlocking authentication with not a fingerprint scanner, but get this — An Iris Scanner that works in under 2 seconds!
      Has an awesome camera that is standout on its own with a 1.9F aperture and 20MPx and last, but not least – it supports Continuum which lets you connect to a bigger screen and use the mobile Universal apps as large, desktop/tablet ones that scale (not X86/X64 obviously) by using Miracast (small lag), USB-C over HDMI, or the $99 hub accessory that gives you USB and monitor support.
      The phones have a “cloudy” release date of sometime in November and the 950 and 950XL are priced, unlocked, at $549 and $649 respectively.
      Any other questions??

  • Bill Short

    What you didn’t include in your article was how the roll out of the phone will be handled.
    The biggest obstacle Microsoft has at the carrier level is their attitude towards Windows Phones. John Legere brought up the FirePhone. Didn’t hear him say anything about the T-Mobile”Launch” of their 640. Great job with that one. Didn’t hear him say anything about the Denim upgrade for their 635, that’s been out over a year and T-Mobile has done nothing with.
    The launch of the 950/960XL because of some of it’s features requires sales reps to be trained. Not only on the phone itself, but the whole Windows 10 concept. The training will be done in depth for Microsoft Store and online reps. The same will hold true for AT&T, they will be trained by Microsoft.
    There’s your “Short term plan”
    Long term. Start adding carriers, if T-Mobile wants to play, then step up. Don’t ship it to WalMart.
    The other point you forgot is that Windows Mobile is just one part of Windows 10. There are over 110 Million PC’s running it right now. And it was only released in July. The hart of the program is total system integration. Desktop, Surface, Mobile and Xbox.
    Windows Mobile starting with the 950/950XL are not intended to overtake iOS or Android. They are an alternative. Part of a total package that work seamlessly with your other Windows 10 devices in new ways.
    Hell, Microsoft is making them to set a standard and would love other OEM’s to join the game.
    So tell the whole story next time. Always look at both sides.

  • Derrick Ford

    What People and Even Perhaps This
    Writer Doesn’t Understand Is Windows 10 and what it is. Windows 10 moving forward is a service. Which means it must and will need to be updated constantly. This WILL NOT BE A

    Unlocked phones bought from Microsoft
    or a so deemed “Friendly Carrier” – thus far that has only been
    AT&T, will be updated by Microsoft directly. You do not get the same
    support from the carrier as you would with a phone purchased from them. THE ULTIMATE GOAL… to always have the latest version upgraded by Microsoft!!! AND NO ONE ELSE!

    SORRY JOHN LEGERE!!! What you did in
    the past as it relates to supporting Windows Phone will no longer cut it –
    Period!!! This is Windows 10!

    Now, you can delete this BS Write Up
    and Only Post This!!!

    • Anthony

      THIS THIS THIS!!!!

    • Jason Crumbley

      Your comment makes no sense. None.

      • Derrick Ford

        I guess you don’t know what Windows 10 is either.

        • Jason Crumbley

          Actually, I do. I just don’t understand poorly written sentences that make no sense.

        • Derrick Ford

          Try me…. What is Windows 10???

        • Jason Crumbley

          How old are you, 10?

        • Derrick Ford

          Of course…you are a Simpleton. That explains it.

      • kgraham182

        Windows 10 unlike other OS is an living fluid system. It will be constantly updated. Microsoft said this will be there last OS.

        • Jason Crumbley

          That makes more sense than the last person’s fragmented sentences.

        • Derrick Ford

          Dude…I am posting this from my phone. Which, quite a few of us do occasionally. No real time for grammar checking…thus, please excuse it.

        • benjitek

          “Windows 10 unlike other OS is an living fluid system. It will be constantly updated. Microsoft said this will be there last OS.”

          When Windows Phone came out they made similar statements, claiming carriers would have a short ‘window’ of time to provide updates or they would provide them OTA. That never happened.

    • Dean

      Well said!

  • J Cav the Great

    That’s dumb AF. One would think to offer on as many carriers to sell more..even if it meant limiting quanities for certain carriers…I was actually interested in the 950…. Shame..they would most likely had an Android-to-WP switch with me…

    • kgraham182

      If you are truly interested in the Lumia 950, what’s stopping you from buying one? You mean to tell me TMO trap their customers and tell them what’s good for them?

      • Jason Crumbley

        Not everyone has the money to pay the entire cost of a phone up front.

        • kgraham182

          This is America, credited it. LOL.
          I agree with you though

        • J Cav the Great

          Not only that but, I have Jump! On Demand, So this allows me to try the phone out and then exchange it of I don’t like it.

        • eanfoso

          Microsoft still let’s you exchange it, I don’t see the point bro.

        • J Cav the Great

          Not my fault your IQ lacks..that’s between you and God.

        • eanfoso

          Your comment makes no sense, my IQ? Between myself and a God? U Christian much? Hahaha

        • J Cav the Great

          You are extremely correct Jason. For the record, I could afford the $560 for the Lumia. I just rather drop that amount on vacation or other sh!t…lol

        • Ordeith

          Stupid is as stupid does.

    • Steve Griffin

      I’d rather fight then switch!!!

      • Rufus King

        Are you sure you meant then and not than?

        • Steve Griffin

          LOL…..You got me

      • J Cav the Great

        Fight who?

        • Steve Griffin

          Fight the mediocrity of a substandard OS, Android. It’s not better, most don’t know any better. Same goes for iOS. Tmo is bombarding us with iPhones and Android phones. It’s been two years since Tmo had a WP commercial that I have seen. They need to work hard to get a phone in their inventory especially when it’s the first of its kind. The Lumia 950 will revolutionize the phone / computing industry.

        • J Cav the Great

          Ah…I see.

  • Anthony

    I would read the article by Paul Thurrott linked here
    The PCMAG article in my opinion was a lot to do about nothing. The article basically sites people who site other people about Microsoft and their supposed enthusiastic approach to selling windows phones in the US…but if you read Paul’s article…he actually talked to people in the MS organization about these same topics.
    First MS chose NOT to go to Verizon and Sprint even though they may have been interested in the new 950xl/950 because of their past treatment of the Phones on their networks. Both Verizon and Sprint have hindered updates and failed to release devices on time that were allotted for them. MS decided that they did not want to go through that again with them. Instead they chose to go with ATT which shows the most loyalty to the brand….when he spoke about TMO…he said that TMO was friendly with MS but less so than ATT. The PC mag article says that ATT chose to carry the 950 because it was easy to do and was an opening for Enterprise channels. Paul’s article doesn’t mention that at all…although there could be some truth to it. …Pauls article goes on to say that MS realized their strategy was not working and decided to change and streamline their channels in getting their phones out to the public. …Its a really good article and may give people an insight into why MS did what they did with these phones. I think the PC mag article is misleading and puts MS in a bad light without knowing what really went on behind the scenes with MS. If Verizon and Sprint weren’t going to be a commited player with MS then I agree they should not put their products on their networks plain and simple. Tmo may have given MS a hard time with carrying prior stock and quite possibly MS felt that TMO might not be good for the initial launch… Whatever the case may be…this article explains a lot ….I Think that PCMAG article was garbage

  • Jason Crumbley

    I can see the meeting now: “Our phones sell like crap. How can we shoot ourselves in the foot so that the sell even less? Oh, I know! We can make two phones, make them an exclusive to one carrier, and have that carrier only sell one of the two models that we made!” Freaking genius.

    • morbid

      They could have only made one phone and made it exclusive to that carrier and locked in too….. like the iphone was.

      Disclaimer: I am by no means an iphone fan, and actually hate apple… just thought the comparison was relevant.

    • Tmo Fo Life

      MS may be shooting for the high end demographic and went with ATT. It seems like Tmo is the ghetto of wireless service.

      • (J²)

        There’s demographics but they are constantly changing for T-Mobile. The T-Mobile is not “Ghetto” because they offer more for less. I have no issue with the term because there are plenty of smaller carriers that fit the bill.

        T-Mobile and Sprint does tend to attract a younger crowd, the crowd that has not been loyal to Verizon or AT&T for 10+ years. As T-Mobile continues to grow (and the industry starts to shift), the other carriers are shedding the “lifers” or loyal customers that could be fleeing to T-Mobile.

        As for attracting business customers. Selecting AT&T may be a better business strategy. Lets be realistic, Windows Phones have become a hybrid of work/play. T-Mobile just relaunched its business portion this year.

        Moving on… Basically, Verizon *the largest carrier* was skipped over (maybe favoritism?) Verizon does have a bigger share of business customers.

        T-Mobile does have a valid point as well, both are GSM carriers. If you can make a device for one, it could easily be for all.

        • taxandspend

          “T-Mobile and Sprint does tend to attract a younger crowd, the crowd that has not been loyal to Verizon or AT&T for 10+ years. ”

          I’m not in the younger crowd, and I had Verizon/Bell Atlantic Mobile/NYNEX for 15 years. I switched 2 years ago.

      • orgwizard2000

        Gmm, never thought of tmobile as ghetto, but if it is, consider me ghetto too. Though I’m surprised the ghetto of mobile carriers is forcing the big over privileged carriers to change. Hmmm
        As for the att exclusive, go for it, it worked out so well amazon. All these companies trying to break into these existing markets without bringing anything groundbreaking to the market and think they’ll instantly create have iSheeple materialize. Good luck with that strategy.
        I actually had a friend on tmobile that was considering trying these phones, cause had too many privacy concerns with android, but they stupidly just made the decision for him.

      • KrisKordova

        T-Mo’s credit requirements are higher than than of any carrier at the moment. Verizon and AT&T are so desparate they will take anyone on contract or with a small EDGE/NEXT payment. Sprint has always been the ghettoest of them all with their spending limit accounts.

    • Rod

      Its not carrier exclusive. There’s a carrier version from ATT mainly aimed at the enterprise markets and they will also sell them unlocked and carrier free at Microsoft stores. The only made one carrier version because they didn’t to go through carrier certification.

    • Ordeith

      Their phones don’t sell well in the US because of the carriers. Why should they continue playing the carriers’ game?
      In many countries where customers have actual choice that is not controlled by burdensome and overbearing carriers Windows Phone is actually selling better than iPhone. Funny, that.

  • Dean

    I’ll buy one. I’m an AT&T customer. It’s smart to ship them unlocked so the consumers can use them with other carriers.
    Unfortunately people buy phones based more on the app selection than the quality of the phone. I hope Microsoft can build on the good press with their new devices and generate interest in filling the gaps in their phone app library.

    • maximus1901

      Microsoft could choose to pay the top app developers to port apps to windows. It has tens of billions $. It’s choosing not to do so. That’s its choice.

      • Ordeith

        It invested that money instead into Project Astoria and Project Islandwood. Projects that will give Windows 10 the ability to run Android and iOS apps.
        A much better investment, wouldn’t you say?

  • benjitek

    1 step forward, 2 steps back… :-(

  • If this is true, Microsoft’s mobile strategy is to fail. You can’t just snub Verizon.

    • Louie G

      The iPhone snubbed Verizon for 5 years and it worked out just fine for Apple. On a side note, Verizon is overrated and overpriced. Decent service in the NE US (since they are based on old school telcos there), horrible everywhere else.

      • BoltmanLives

        Exactly! This is IPhone 2.0 , what is happening is ATT is getting in on the ground floor of the next big thing…Surface Phone, the 950/950XL are placeholders for that phone. We all know how the iPhone did, surface phone will be the same story… far belong anything current, lusted after and sell like hotcakes THEN Microsoft can on their terms later open up other channels…like Apple did.

        • (J²)


          AT&T was the US’s largest carrier when the original iPhone launched. This was before the huge push for data and smartphones.
          Apple went into this with little data, simply exploring a market similar to that of iPods/MP3 Players – Since it did so well with iPods.

          While the exclusivity lasted AT&T sold the iPhones and other carriers pushed Androids. This ended up being a hit at Verizon and propelled them past AT&T.

          Since the exclusivity deal has ended, Apple has had to make multiple models of the iPhone for each carrier. Something that would be costly if devices end up flopping.

          So Apple had a valid reason for choosing AT&T, there was no favoritism. By no means is it compressible. Like others said, Windows Phone and Blackberry have seen countless flops and exclusivity will not help those odds.

          I just cannot foresee Windows Phone’s gaining too much traction. Microsoft is following in the footsteps of RIM but with twist. The phone targets business users and this may not be intentional.
          I hope people don’t seriously think people are going to drop their iPhones or Androids (especially this late in the game) for a Windows Phone.

        • AT&T NEVER was the largest carrier, not even when they were the sole sellers of the IPhone.

        • (J²)

          They were, briefly through a number of acquisitions. 2007 – 2009 seems to be when they held the #1 title.

          I’d research a little deeper. Since both companies offer other services and have acquired many companies in addition to only being a few million subscribers apart, I know it can be hard to keep tally.

          It’s something I’ve been following for years, I had to do a research paper on a similar topic.

        • Rod

          Considering the fact that both of them are the “old” American Telephone and Telegraph with different names, does it really matter who’s #1?

        • (J²)

          Yes it relates to the point I made. Some of us try to fact find before commenting.

        • BoltmanLives

          They will in droves IF its better , which it is especially Surface Phone (iphone 2.0)

        • Epic_Ninja420

          Apple stopped making multiple models with the 6, any iphone 6 or 6s will work on any of the carriers around the world including Sprint and Verizon.

        • (J²)

          Apple still makes several models of the iPhone.

          Each model supports different frequencies, bands, etc.

          You are correct. You have been able to jump ship with your iPhone prior to the iPhone 6. The limitations still remain, some models do not support certain frequencies, bands and etc. This isn’t as impacting as it once was but is still a problem.

  • Alex P.

    Eh, they’re not really wrong. MS knows their phones and mobile OS are pretty unpopular (yea, they got few percent of mobile market share but that’s pretty insignificant) and will still remain this way so they don’t even want to bother anymore with making carrier-specific models/OS for each “interested” carrier. They’re just waiting for the right moment to jump on Android’s platform ;-)

    • Microsoft will never jump on any other OS. If that happens, MS will die a quick death overnight. Bye-bye Xbox, bye-bye PC, and bye-bye HoloLens if they even think of pushing a device from either Android or IOS.

    • Ordeith

      If I didn’t see it for myself I would never have believed there were so many idiots in the world that would have blindly fallen into Google’s trap. But reality proves it.

  • mingkee

    Death of Windows phone.

    • K Dog

      My ad/script blocking add-ons work overtime on tmonews. But the site loads in about 1 second now. That is my desktop. My iPhone with the new blockers is working great as well. No more ads, I love it.

    • Nope. The beginning of the growth of Windows Phone. I remember people talking about the death of the IPhone in 2010. That never came to fruition, and no, feature phones were not dominant then, either. Android was.

      • gameovertime1

        The difference was that in 2010 Verizon, Sprint and regional carrier US Cellular got the iPhone. The consumer market expanded. One half decade later, Windows Phone is using the strategy that Apple abandoned.

        • Actually, that was in 2011 that the IPhone was available everywhere. And the way carriers treated Windows during the WP 8 days, I listed the stats yesterday, carriers forced Microsoft to use the abandoned strategy.

  • Jason Damron

    Well, I *was* interested in buying a Windows 10 phone! But I don’t have AT&T. So thanks but no thanks Microsoft. Yet another failure for them. I seriously doubt the 950 will see Any success with only AT&T able to sell them at a discount!! Never have liked Microsoft, why start now I guess.

    • Pepe LeDouche

      Maybe AT&T did not feel comfortable dealing with an old French woman who may have never turned a profit at her company.

    • Art Van Derlay

      Yeah, the way you are talking about Microsoft just proves the willingness for buying a Windows 10 phone.

  • Myclevername

    They’re going after business accounts and ATT has a lot of them. No other carriers give a crap about Windows Phone. It would be a waste of money and resources for Microsoft to try to involve carriers who aren’t going to promote the phones. An unlocked 950 XL will work on ATT, T-Mobile, Cricket, Metro PCS and NEt10. Over 150 million potential customers.
    I’m on Tmobile using my unlocked 1520 and its absolutely fine. I dont have WiFi calling but so what? I have unlimited minutes. People love to bitch about shit they really dont have any interest in to begin with.

  • Shreddie88

    Since AT&T is selling it unlocked there is no reason why people couldn’t buy it use it on T-Mobile. Specs show its compatible with T-Mobile LTE bands 2,4 and 12.

  • YABD

    I think windows phone compared with ios and android it is not a big deal. I don’t care about Microsoft mobile devices.

  • The Lumia 950 XL will be sold unlocked. Meaning that not even AT&T will carry it unless they pull the IPhone strategy. By the way, these devices we’re talking about are the global versions of the phones. Some of the LTE bands are European and Asian bands. There is north of a 51% chance that they make a new Lumia 950 and 950 XL just for the US before they sell it directly unlocked here.

    Microsoft and Nokia did this with the Lumia 735. The global version of that device doesn’t have a CDMA radio. The US version does.

  • Paul

    I guess @block_kevin, from the previous article, jumped the gun on his name calling of Legere.

  • Anthony

    Moderator… I posted a response yesterday…where is it ?? It said it was being approved. But I don’t see it here …where did it go and why??

  • Wererat

    I like TMo but they really didn’t give the 925 good service — not promoted, store reps pushing other models, and discontinued very briskly. No effort to get the 1020 or other Lumias. Why would Microsoft bother with the trouble and expense of making TMo a supplier for this round?

    • notyourbusiness

      I love the 925. But it wasn’t discontinued anywhere near as quickly as the 810.

  • Too bad, I really like these new windows phones! Bad choice Microsoft, bad call!

  • notyourbusiness

    There goes Microsoft, shooting itself in the foot again. What a shame. These are really nice phones, and they could really sell better (obviously) on all the major carriers. Microsoft might want to keep things like the Firephone in mind.

    • Ordeith

      If T-Mobile wants to sell their customers out to Apple and Google that’s their business. My business will be with another carrier.

      • notyourbusiness

        Congratulations on showing you have zero reading comprehension skills. And I really care about how you do your business – i.e., I don’t.

  • Brian Richards

    This is such a terrible plan. If they really do end up running android apps next year, then this would have been something I considered switching to.

  • Spiro Nikolau

    I’m still buying it. If T-Mobile wanted to stay in Microsoft’s good graces, why did they not even offer the Lumia 640 in stores? I know my region never received any to sell.

    • Hello

      Most stores had them. Your store didn’t sell prior windows well enough so it didn’t get them

      • Spiro Nikolau

        My store sold very many Lumia 635s. If sale volume is the metric they value, we should have had 640s for sure

  • Teresa Tipton

    This would have been the Windows phone that would have be jumping the Android OS but if I can’t buy it through my T-Mobile carrier then I won’t buy at all, trying to make people jump on the antiquated AT&T bandwagon is just poor business sense

    • Shawn

      At&t brought exclusivity, I don’t know why Microsoft beating around tge bush, lol.

    • Ordeith

      Yeah, who needs antiquated things like choice and coverage.. that’s so last gen. /s

  • Irfan

    if Microsoft place all of technology what tmobile offering people will defiantly buy

    • Sean


  • notyourbusiness

    How do you know AT&T is selling it unlocked?

    • Because Microsoft controls 100% of the updates on Windows 10. I don’t know whether the other four carriers were ready to accept the fact that they would no longer control the updates, but I’m positive AT&T accepted that.

      • R76K98

        It will most certainly still be SIM-locked if it is sold by ATT, don’t you think?

        • Knowing them, yes. However, that shouldn’t be allowed if Microsoft controls the updates.

        • R76K98

          Two separate things, I think. Apple has controlled OS updates for the iPhone from Day 1, but they’ve always been SIM-locked to the carrier. But I think it will be even worse than that: I think they will only be available as part of ATTs new “lease instead of own” program, so if you want to actually own it you’ll have to buy it from Microsoft at full price anyway.

      • notyourbusiness

        I never heard of that, that AT&T’s Windows Phone are sold unlocked. I know the Rogers versions (like the 920 I got in 2013) are, but I’m pretty sure AT&T’s WPs are sold locked to the carrier. It’s like their iPhones, in that regard – I don’t think AT&T’s that you can buy directly from them are unlocked either.

        • AT&T never sold a Windows phone unlocked. That’s because Microsoft has never been, until now with Windows 10 mobile, in control of the updates. I’m sure that AT&T will now start selling all Windows phones unlocked because of the change in who controls the OS updates.

        • notyourbusiness

          It would be really interesting if they do that, but I’m skeptical because then anyone from any GSM carrier could just walk into an AT&T store and buy one of the new phones full price to use wherever they want. I don’t see AT&T allowing that at all.


    Way to go Microsoft you’ve managed to f#&% yourself again. If you’re goal is for people to continue to ignore your efforts you’re making tremendous progress. You will be irrelevant in mobile in no time!

  • Adrayven

    For some reason Microsoft is angling for Business customers only .. AT&T is a primary carrier for Businesses, with Verizon a close second. T-Mobile is but a shadow..

    You look at the new products, and they are very business only type products.. Like the Surface Book – Mostly only businesses will buy that. The lesson they have STILL failed to learn is that Apple and Google broke into the Business markets heavy because CONSUMERS in droves wanted to BYOD their android and iOS devices.

    This strategy will largely fail because they will not have consumers knocking on their employers doors to bring in a Lumia 950s like they will iOS and Android devices… Exclusivity was a bad idea in this day and age.

    • Microsoft did mention that bit about business customers, so…

  • GameBoi/KillaBit

    And that’s the reason they can’t sell phones. Why would you limit your sales on being an exclusive to ONE carrier? You’re nobody’s 2007 iPhone MICROSOFT! #NerdRant

  • Patrick Day

    There’s no accounting for shortsightedness. Microsoft has lost hundreds of thousands of potential customers that would have gladly updated to a 950/XL as they were hanging on
    with their old Lumia’s that are barely working. Most of those same people will now move
    to a competing platform, rather than wait for a new WP to come to their carrier later on
    down the road. Irregardless of what demographic MS was targeting with this iteration of
    WP, they truly are shooting themselves in the foot. WP is NOT an iPhone, it doesn’t have
    a three year lead on competing platforms trying to catch up and close the app gap nor
    does it have a foothold in the business sector, and many of those companies that are
    being targeted will most likely want to test the WP out first which will delay product roll
    out on an organizational scale. All in all a disappointing situation, as I was all ready to
    drop my note 5 for the 950XL.

  • No other carriers give a crap about Windows Phone.

    ALL OF THIS. Sprint, US Cellular, Verizon and T-Mobile had the better part of 36 months to give a crap about Windows Phone. None of them did. Between these four carriers combined, they sold only 13 of the 85 phones running WP 8 or later.
    Welcome to Microsoft’s new world. If the carriers want the Lumias, make space on the tables for them and promote them, first.

    • notyourbusiness

      Honestly, I do think T-Mobile would carry the 950 if they were given the opportunity. Stores near me carried the 925, 521 and 635 for quite awhile. They dropped the ball (unfortunately) with the 810 and 640, but I think the 950 would sell probably better than even the 521 if the price was reasonable.

      • T-Mobile needs to really consider selling the Acer Liquid Jade Primo. I read that the price of that phone will be $499.99 at most.

  • In the last 36 months, Sprint, US Cellular, Verizon and T-Mobile combined sold only 13 of the 80 Windows Phones running WP 8 or later. Thirteen. AT&T, conversely, has sold at least 16 of these phones all by themselves.

  • Anthony

    I urge you to read Paul Thurrott’s article on why MS did what it did… And to some point. I agree with MS decision even though I desperately want it to be on T-Mobile. In the Article Paul explains that he had spoken to key people at MS who explained that while their was interest from the carriers, MS decidd to go with ATT because ATT was the most friendly toward WP in the past. The PCMag article suggests that ATT did it because it was easy and MS wanted an enterprise channel… Paul’s article makes no mention of that… Aside from saying that ATT was the most friendly… MS essentially doesn’t want anything to do with Verizon, no doubt because they did nothing but delay updates, releasing product and promotion. Sprint to MS is apparently dead… ATT was very friendly and apparently TMo is less friendly to MS… ..this reasoning could also be due to tmos treatment of older WP models. MS went on to say that they had evaluated their WP strategy with releasing product to the carriers and that it had failed…so they were revamping their strategy… … I gotta say… I can’t be mad at them. It’s not about selling phones …but getting people to buy into the ecosystem and if the carriers including TMo are gonna play games then its in MSs best interest to find other channels to deliver their products.

    • gameovertime1

      That being said… How the hell will you increase marketshare significantly if prospects must choose carrier in addition to hardware? Like many that are interested in the subject, I’m not paying more for my phone or phone service simply to get a Lumia 950. This single carrier strategy last worked uber successfully in 2007 with the iPhone. The acrimony of that decision gave birth to the current most widely used OS on handheld devices; Android.

      • Anthony

        You are still not going to increase market share if the chosen carriers aren’t going to put your phones in stores on time, promote the phones… or allow updates. VERIZON took months to put out the L735 and tmo didn’t have any or very little 640s in store.. given these two mishaps…how was ms to increase market share in this situation?? It’s best for MS to forget any carrier including our beloved tmobile if they can’t ensure that phones be placed in store and given some attention. .and go for third party outlets to get their phones in hands of consumers who want them. And people who want these phones will seek them out…no question about that… I think MS should Think about providing some financing options but with the right promotion… ms could turn this into a win for themselves…also no one is paying more to get this phone… the price of the phone is the price of the phone… although ATT may subsidize the phone.. you end up paying just as much for the phone throughout the life of the contract.. and if you have a great contract on your carrier and you can’t switch..then the only thing you would be doing is paying the full price of the phone…it sucks to be on Verizon or Sprint…but again… if those carriers gave Ms some support things may have been different. Ms has in the past tried to put their phones on every carrier and had to make consessions for each carrier..either changing phone names or adding specs that specific carriers wanted…it’s a joke… and now ms has chosen not to cave in and they want to do it their way…kudos to them… let’s hope they do it right

        • Ordeith

          It’s unfortunate that T-Mobile has completely sold out to Apple and Google. It’s a pretty “carrier” move for them.

        • Shawn

          How can you srll out when a phone aker go elsewhere lol.

      • Bill Short

        You don’t seem to understand, Microsoft can’t storm the market just to increase market share. They’re rolling out a new ecosystem. Slowly, deliberately. One step at a time.
        It’s not about market share today. It’s about molding the future. In case you haven’t noticed Microsoft is on its way in your Android back door.
        They’re a Software Company, they don’t have to dominate the hardware business.

        • gameovertime1

          The fact of the matter is that T-Mo windows phone fans have been waiting patiently for damn near a half decade. How is it that Blackberry decided to release a flagship for T-Mo when Blackberry has smaller marketshare than Micorsoft, and less capital?

        • Bill Short

          You just said it. Blackberry is having a hard time. They need T-Mobile to help. And for some reason they’re getting along better now. The BlackBerry CEO sent John Legere a Blackberry phone with a Batman Logo on it.
          Microsoft is fed up with the US carriers. They’ve demonstrated their lack of concern for the platform for years. T-Mobile dropped the ball on what is currently the fastest selling Windows Phone in the world. India is begging for them. They’ve helped Windows Phone claim a 10% market share in the UK. T-Mobile sent it to WalMart! All John Legere needed to do for the 640 was tweet about it a couple times. Give a few away at his events. He could have sold thousands. Now we want Microsoft to say “Please Mr.Legere, could you try to sell a few of our 950’s?”

          I don’t mean to rant, but two companies the size of these two should have talked a log time ago about this.

  • Andrew Singleton

    what a great way to save a failing brand. join a failing brand.

  • winter

    If the phone is truly unlocked, and said phone will function as designed on T-Mobile’s network, then I could care less if T-Mobile will sell it.
    We will acquire the 150+ 950/XL’s from Microsoft and use them under our corporate account with T-Mobile.
    If T-Mobile provides ANY kickback and as a result hinders the 950’s features/performance/functionality, then we will simply take our large corporate account elsewhere. (1000+ lines).

    • Ordeith

      Tell us, how much less COULD you care?

  • Brian

    Blackberry is selling better than Windows phones, so what does that tell you?

    • Anthony

      Completely un true…. lolol but funny though

    • Ordeith

      Not even Sony is selling better. Blackberry? please.

    • Shawn

      Zte selling better than Windows phones lmao.

      • Ordeith

        Windows Phone sells at a rate of about 35-40 million units a year.

  • PeeJay Brown Jr

    This is very disappointing. I was very much looking forward to moving to a Windows Phone this year. But I am completely unwilling to pay $600 plus for a phone flat out when I have a JUMP plan that allows me to move every 6 mos.

    • Ordeith

      that’s what you get for wasting your money on Jump instead of investing or saving.

      • Shawn

        Is it your money ?.

        • Ordeith

          It’s a waste regardless of whose money it is.
          but I understand maths are hard.

        • Shawn

          Still his money, lol.

        • Ordeith

          and his consequences.

        • Shawn

          And his decisions.

        • Ordeith

          and his bitching about the consequences he chose by making a poor decision with his money.

        • Shawn

          But he’s not bitching about Jump, lmao.

        • Ordeith

          He would be if he wasn’t an idiot.

        • Ordeith

          He’s bitching about the carrier-lock-in lack of freedom Jump has shackled him with (by design). so yes.

        • kgraham182

          People don’t realize T-Mobile got rid of contracts but is holding their customers hostage with the Jump program. At least when a contract is up you get the phone at a discount or maybe even free. With Jump you never own the phone and paying $20-30 every month on top of your $80 plan. If you add that all up AT&T and Verizon may come out cheaper sure you lose unlimited data but you gain coverage.

        • Epic_Ninja420

          You never own the phone with Jump? Really… thanks for that observation…. I didnt realize I was allowed to pay off my EIP balance at any time…oh wait.

        • kgraham182

          With Jump you don’t own the phone, you leasing to own. But why would want to own a phone that will be obsolete in 6 months, and that right there is how TMO holds you hostage.

        • taxandspend

          So you think that after paying $120 for your $600 phone, you should be able to keep it instead of turning it in? You can do that. But you have to pay it off. They aren’t in the business of giving out free phones. Also, the leasing to own is your option. You can turn it in, or you can pay the rest off.

  • Epic_Ninja420

    I went to the Microsoft store over the weekend and got to play with a 950XL….. such a shame that Microsoft decided to only let AT&T officially sell the 950. It is a really nice phone, the camera is excellent and the screen is just as nice if not a little better looking than my GS6(I think it was just the Windows UI vs the Touchwiz cartoon look). I also went to the Apple store and played with the 6s plus for a little bit, its not bad either but the force touch would take getting used to. The camera was ok, granted the lighting in my Apple store is kinda crappy for taking pics(lots of bright fluorescence lights and my GS6 didnt fare any better). I think that I might end up buying an unlocked 950XL and a iPad mini 4 so that way what ever apps I find myself missing on Windows I’ll be able to get on the iPad until Microsoft enables the app porting from iOS and Android. On another note I was slightly disappointed that there was not a surface book at the MS store. (they did have the SP4 which is really nice)

  • Shawn

    Every sale counts, Microsoft.

    • Ordeith

      T-Mobile only likes to count Android and iOS sales. They would be glad to be rid of all their pesky Windows Phone customers.

      • Shawn

        You work at the corporate office ?.

        • Ordeith

          Just good observation over the years.

  • Spanky

    Windows 10 updates will be handled directly by Microsoft, without carrier intervention. Could it be that T-Mobile wanted to control the update process (“testing”, bloatware, etc.) and Microsoft didn’t agree to it?

    • Brad

      Based on how AT&T handled Nexus 6 and how T-Mo did… I’d say probably not.

  • Raiterio Patterson

    So in a nutshell Microsoft went over to AT&T because money, and they both love bloatware

    • kgraham182

      Windows phones don’t come with bloatware, and it they did they can be deleted. Try that with an Android.

    • notyourbusiness

      Any bloatware installed on Windows Phone can be deleted.

  • Hollywood J Blaq

    If Microsoft really wanted to control where and how their phones are handled, they really should’ve just went the Apple route and sold them directly in stores and online. AT&T is not going to pitch their customers Windows Phones. When you go into an AT&T store there’s only 1 question they ask before they try to sell you anything:

    “iPhone or Android?”

    • Ordeith

      Microsoft is going to sell them directly in stores and online. Unlocked.
      It doesn’t hurt them that they will ALSO be available on ATT.

      • Hollywood J Blaq

        I forgot to add the words exclusively. And AT&T could care less about selling Windows Phones, just like it cared about the Fire Phone.

  • Jose Mendoza

    Haha! Unlocked from At&t! Now they can go cry in a corner that they are forced to sell it unlocked! Hint: Unlocked devices and bootloaders are at&t’s enemy

  • fencepost

    Actually, between the lockdown (e.g. no backup of calls or SMS) and lack of apps on Windows Phone and some disaffection with Google and the rapid abandoning of Android phones update-wise, I’m thinking very hard about an iPhone 6s as my next phone.

    I’ll have to see if it can do all or even most of what I’m looking for feature-wise, but I’m not seeing the real downside yet.

    • kgraham182

      WIndows phones does does have a setting to backup SMS., And by backup of calls do you mean call recording? Windows 10 Mobile will have that feature, it’s in the Insider preview

      • fencepost

        No, I use an app called CallTrack that adds all calls (placed, received or missed) on a specified calendar with appropriate start and end times. That makes recordkeeping incredibly convenient.

        Similarly for SMS, I use an app that backs up SMS messages as messages to my Gmail account, tagged as SMS and marked as read. That makes it very easy to go back and see who I was messaging with on a particular day using the built-in date search functionality.

        I’m also using MightyText which lets me respond to text messages from my PC, but while that’s very convenient I could get by without it.

        As I understand it, none of those are even possible on Windows Phone because there’s no access to the APIs (or perhaps there is if you’re a large enough developer).

      • fencepost

        This is a bit of a gravedig, but actually I was referring to app access to the call log and SMS – on Android I use an app (CallTrack by asterdroid mobile) that adds all of my calls onto a specific Google Calendar, and a separate app (SMS Backup+ by Jan Berkel) that adds all of my SMS messages into GMail as messages (marked read and labeled “SMS”). Both of these are very useful when I need to go back later in the month for billing and see who I was talking to and messaging with on a given day.

  • Richard Roma

    Damn, I love win Nokia 640 but come on Microsoft, with AT&T. I’d rather take a bunch to the face than join that carrier.

  • oh well. nice knowing ya 950. just a weird strategy from Microsoft when Windows Phones are no where near on a level to where they can be exclusive to one carrier. and ATT won’t push the phone anyway. maybe they want it to die and are just casually paving the way.

  • tomarone

    I can’t believe it. Mega-Stoopeedo.

  • Jeff Martinez

    Meh…let them have it.

  • tom riddle

    only way to buy is unlocked from the source. i would never buy from a carrier again.

  • I Love the fact that my 950XL I’m buying from Microsoft will not be sold for less than what I have to pay and the fact that it not a free for all device that available at every carrier.

  • RichGimmel

    Want to see it on Verizon… Looks like a great phone.