We reported yesterday on a rumour that Microsoft is planning to end sales of their Lumia handsets by the end of the year. Now we have heard of one repercussion of that decision.
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.
While this situation currently may only apply to UK, presumably it will soon spread to the rest of the world also, as stock run out in warehouse and shelves. Update: We have just heard the Lumia 950 is no longer in stock in Belgium and Netherlands.
While some have said this is all going to plan and is of no consequence, especially to current owners, and even claimed that Windows Phone could not hit any lower market share than it has now, this is clearly not true, as one can judge by simply looking at Blackberry.
It is extremely unlikely that 3rd party Windows Phone OEMs will succeed, simply because Microsoft’s abandonment of Lumia has given the impression that they do not stand behind their mobile OS to retailers, media, developers and users.
Due to this companies will not trust OEMs like HP either, justifiably feeling that there is no guarantee Microsoft, let alone HP, will still be supporting the OS in a year’s time.
At the same time the user share of Windows Phone, possibly still in the 30-50 million range, could soon drop to less than 10 million, as WP8 users upgrade to Android phones, as that is all that is available to them in their location and price range. This will be associated with a flood of apps leaving the store, continuing the self-fulfilling death spiral. A late arriving Surface phone will not change this, due to high prices, poor distribution and ever increasing app gap.
In short, talk of Lumia dying and Windows Mobile surviving is nonsense, unless surviving means a zombie OS with no ecosystem of devices or developers. It is irresponsible to suggest to potential buyers that it is anything otherwise.
The only savoir for Windows on phones would be an x86 device running real Windows 10, providing full access to the still robust Windows ecosystem, where apps and support is backed by 1.5 billion Windows users, not 10 million and fading.
Do our readers agree?