Microsoft confirms that Lumia 950/XL US carrier exclusivity was their idea

We posted yesterday on a CNET story which claimed Microsoft was forced into carrier exclusivity by lack of interest by other US carriers.

This resulted in a tweet storm by T-Mobile CEO John Legere, who adamantly laid the blame right at Microsoft’s own doorstep.

Now in an official statement Microsoft has confirmed that it indeed their own decision to keep the devices exclusive to AT&T, saying:

“We’re refocusing our channel strategy, narrowing it in the short-term and planning for broader operator availability long-term,” a Microsoft spokesperson told VentureBeat. “While there was interest across the board from U.S. operators, currently we’ve made the decision to have AT&T carry the Lumia 950, and then sell both the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL unlocked through our own channel in Microsoft stores. In Europe, Deutsche Telekom will carry the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, and we’ll have more to share about other carriers shortly.”

This has of course been a strategy which has repeatedly failed, and the last bit regarding Deutsche Telecom suggests to me that Microsoft may even extend the exclusivity to Europe, something they did try for a brief period with early Windows Phone 8 handsets.

Of course the good news is that other carriers are interested, and Microsoft’s allusions to “long-term” suggests it may be a limited timed exclusive, rather than for the life of the devices.

How do our readers feel about this news? Let us know below.

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