Microsoft is trying to sell off its remaining inventory of Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL handsets ahead of the launch of HP’s new Elite x3. This isn’t the first time Microsoft has “drained the swamp” this year for HP. And it probably won’t be the last.
HP will launch its Elite x3 flagship in the U.S. on August 29 at a cost of $699. That, perhaps not coincidentally, was the original price of Microsoft’s previous flagship, the Lumia 950 XL. But that device, and its smaller 950 sibling, were met by widespread indifference, even by Windows phone enthusiasts. Which is fine with Microsoft: The software giant has been exiting the smartphone market since mid-2015 anyway.
Whether HP will see any success with the Elite x3 is unclear, but as I wrote back in February, that device is focused semi-exclusively at managed businesses with expensive datacenter-based infrastructures. That said, HP would love to attract any remaining Windows phone enthusiasts with the x3 as well, and it has asked Microsoft to clear out any remaining Lumia inventory before the x3 launch to make the decision a bit easier for customers moving forward.
What does that mean to you? It means that Microsoft has been putting its current, and last, Lumia devices on sale on and off all year. And if I’m not mistaken, this week’s pricing on the Lumia 950 and 950 XL is the best we’ve seen yet.
The unlocked Lumia 950 is now $399, or $150 off the normal asking price of $549.
The unlocked Lumia 950 XL is an even better deal: It’s now just $449, or $200 off the normal selling price of $649.
Both are available in black or white. Better still, both handsets will ship with a free Microsoft Display Dock while those supplies last. That dock is used to connect the phone to an external display, keyboard, mouse, and other peripherals, turning it into a PC-like device powered by Continuum.
You may recall my review of the Lumia 950, from back in November 2015, where I wrote that my only major gripe with the Lumia 950 was the price.
“At $550 unlocked, the Lumia 950 is simply too expensive,” I wrote. “Microsoft can’t claim that the Lumia 950 is a gift to fans if it’s priced out of the reach of most of those fans. And it can’t charge this price for a phone that lacks a meaningful app ecosystem, has absolutely zero in the way of mobile payments, and is only available from one major carrier in the U.S., no matter how good the camera. These things just do not add up.”
At $400/$450, these phones would have made a lot more sense … back in late 2015. Today … I don’t know.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who tipped me off to this new pricing. Which, by the way, ends on August 14, and is available only in Microsoft retail and online stores in the U.S. and Canada.
UPDATE: AT&T is now offering the Lumia 950 for $300 as well. That said, I’d stick with the Microsoft version if possible since it’s definitely unlocked. (Not sure about the AT&T version.)