The almost negligible growth of its mobile operating system, and the plunging sales of the infamous Lumia lineup has made Microsoft question its integrity and future more than a few times. The Redmond-based company has also taken to tactics like multiple rate cuts, and Buy 1, Get 1 Free sales in the past, giving us the clue of halted production and the effort to reduce the stockpile of inventory in its warehouses.
There have also been various rumors about the ‘death of Lumia’ and the rise of premium Surface phones in the past couple of months. But adding fuel to the fire is a report by WinBeta, which claims that Microsoft is certainly working towards the end of the Lumia range. According to an employee, who demanded anonymity, the Redmond giant is prepping to “end sales” of the Lumia range by the end of this year, December 2016.
The language of the aforementioned quote is a bit vague and does it really mean ‘end sales’, like stop production, and give up on hardware production? or could they just be discontinuing the current Lumia lineup in favor of something better? Well, we can never too sure in interpreting the words of a rumors, but this still doesn’t sound like good news for Microsoft.
There is, however, a sliver of hope for Windows Mobile lovers as Microsoft’s Director of Engineering, Windows Fundamentals Laura Butler has been very vocal about Surface phones on her twitter. She’s been talking in double negatives saying the ‘Surface Phone is NOT not confirmed’ and ‘Surface iPhone ;-)’. Well this doesn’t provide us with any confirmation about the future of the lineup, but we are still hoping for good news.
Microsoft has recently only been able to sell a mere 4.5 million Lumia devices in the quarter ending December’15 — 57 per cent lower than the corresponding period last year when it managed to sell about 10.5 million devices. This means ‘Lumia smartphones’ accounted for just 1 per cent of the total devices shipped 399.5 million , making it nothing short of a spectacular failure.
In 2013, Microsoft had purchased Nokia’s hardware business for $7.9 billion primarily to bring the Lumia trademark under its own arm. Though providing a new home to mobile phone business wasn’t enough, and the company wasn’t able to emulate similar sale figures as Nokia could. The sales slumped, Redmond debuted Windows 10, and urged third-party OEMs to support the ecosystem by manufacturing Windows phones for the masses. There was, however, not much traction, except a few takers like HP, Alcatel and a few more.
Microsoft has now moved towards enterprise tech and is focusing its energy and resources of developing the cloud infrastructure under the leadership of Satya Nadella. It has sold its feature phone business, along with the corresponding IP and patents to HMD Global for a meager $350 million. This has also triggered Nokia to make a comeback and prove its metal, but this time with Android as its friendly partener. It has also hired Rovio ‘Angry Birds’ maker to head the marketing division of the company.
Take this update with a grain of salt, but remember to keep an eye out for more news about the topic right here.