Many of our readers have been disappointed that the Lumia 950 appears to be exclusive to AT&T, with that carrier being the only one to officially announce the handset as coming soon.
It turns out however that the “exclusivity” was not the result of hard negotiation on AT&T’s part, but rather that that carrier, likely due to its long-standing relationship with Microsoft, was the only one willing to offer it.
CNET’s unnamed sources report that neither Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile or Sprint have any intention to sell either the Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL, despite being offered the handsets.
Making the best of a bad situation, Microsoft will instead concentrate their marketing efforts on AT&T, with the company providing tables in AT&T stores to show off how its Lumia phones can connect with Windows-powered PCs and the Surface Pro tablets, according to Tuula Rytila, who runs phone marketing for Microsoft.
“Partnering with AT&T is executing on that focus (on areas where Microsoft believes it can win) and we’re very happy to work them,” she said in an interview.
According to the latest Kantar numbers Windows Phone has a 3.5% market share in USA which is likely the cause for the lacklustre support for handsets running the OS in the market.
Even AT&T may not offer the Lumia 950 XL, but the handsets will be available unlocked from Microsoft Stores, and will be able to run on AT&T and T-Mobile, says CNET.
Update: T-Mobile CEO John Legere has directly denied that they declined to carry the handset, blaming Microsoft directly. He tweeted:
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) October 7, 2015
If this is indeed the case it suggests that Microsoft has still not learned the lessons many years of poor sales in USA have to offer.