Remember the reports of Microsoft ending Lumia production by the end of the year? The speculations just got a boost today from a report out of the U.K. Winbeta reports that a user in UK has been refused a warranty replacement for his Lumia 950 XL because Microsoft had no further stock of the device, with all remaining units already sent to distributors. Production of the handset has reportedly stopped a month ago already.
This seems to be an extremely aggressive timeline. If the production of the Lumia devices has been already halted, then we are most likely to see a replacement for the brand before the end of this year. Once again, this simply strengthens the rumors about a phone under the ‘Surface’ brand; we have had since months.
Microsoft has never heavily promoted its first handsets to come with Windows 10 Mobile out of the box. While some fans of the platform had hoped that the new build could spark a turnaround and give Windows Phone some momentum, the app gap has proven to be too much for Microsoft to overcome.
Windows phone shares have continued to decline and are expected to continue to do so as the options are becoming lesser and lesser. Lumia was perhaps the best known name in the Windows phone world and Microsoft killing Lumia will only send the signal that Microsoft is itself not standing behind its products let alone third parties like HTC or occasionally Samsung. At the start of the Windows mobile platform, with Windows 7, there was a lot of interest around it, several OEMs saw it as an alternative to android and so did many consumers.
With its simple tile based UI it brought in a breath of fresh air and things seemed hopeful, we were all hopeful in the coming days Microsoft will be able to bridge the app gap but that never happened specially after the unfortunate Windows 8. Nokia got on board the Windows ship soon hoping to ride it and help Microsoft and itself create something unique, like Samsung had with Android.
Nokia did not want to struggle in the sea of Android OEMs like HTC, LG and Sony, but with Microsoft pushing Lumia the other OEMs obviously became a bit less enthusiastic than they were. I remember when Windows was launched for mobile, there were a lot of windows phones and OEMs like Samsung used to make both a windows and an android version of their budget smartphones particularly because back then, android did not perform on the low-end hardware as well as windows.
With hardware progression, and Android’s evolution, and Microsoft’s push for Nokia’s Lumia series, it all started going downhill even though for a moment it seemed Nokia had a chance. While all of this happened, the app gap, only kept increasing even with modern windows apps making their way to the desktops, it could never be filled. More and more popular titles and app developers started ignoring Windows altogether.
And this is how we have reached to this point in time, where Microsoft’s windows phone shares, some have even claimed, could not hit any lower market share than it has now.
But here’s the thing, they sure can and the best example is Blackberry. With Lumia now quite possibly dying, it doesn’t really matter if a surface phone arrives. The death of the brand Lumia will rub app developers, supporters, OEMs, retailers and media in all the wrong ways.
MSU goes on to even suggest that the apps already present on the store might be pulled in the near future, after all, why would a developer or software company work and spend resources to maintain an app that only has a target audience of a few 10 millions when they can target an audience of a billion with android? Neither does the Windows platform provide them high revenues like iOS. It’s basically android with the market share of iOS.
If android had a market share of iOS, i.e. approximately 14% worldwide, this is what slowly Android would be reduced to as well against iOS. The point here is, without Lumia, I don’t think the brand Windows Phone can live on with a Surface Phone. Perhaps Microsoft should have taken a few notes from Google’s Book.
Google knows it’s not a hardware company, it’s a software company, very much like Microsoft and unlike Apple. Google’s Nexus programme highlights the best of Android and it also features a certain OEM every year, never particularly favouring one over the other, giving them a chance to expand their reach. Look at what happened to Huawei, a Chinese brand when it made the best Nexus ever. Microsoft saw an opportunity, in the bankrupt Nokia, just as Google did with Motorola.
The difference however was, that under Google, Motorola made some of the best Android phones, but Google sold it off to Lenovo before OEMs started to feel threatened with the relationship. Microsoft however thought it could be another Apple which is not a bad thing but it was an ambitious move that wasn’t very much thought through. Microsoft is like Google, not Apple. Selling software and services is what they do, something Satya Nadella, the new CEO has re-affirmed since he took office.
Where do you think Microsoft went wrong with its phone platform? Should they have taken a Google like approach? At this rate, it seems, the existing Windows Phone users will soon thin out further as many move over to android under the lack of options within their budget and location.
Source : WinBeta