Finding a Windows phone user who is happy with Microsoft’s mobile strategy is hard. Customers either feel cheated by the company, think Microsoft will kill the platform off soon, or are looking to jump ship to iOS or Android. The latest move does little to sway any of those opinions as Microsoft has dropped half the Windows phones in its Store.
Of course, these kinds of decisions are not surprising when we look at the Windows phone market. Microsoft shipped $5 million worth of handsets during the last quarter. To put that in perspective, just two years ago Windows on mobile was viable enough to make $1.4 billion.
Yes, it was still trailing far behind its rivals, but there was hope it could grow. Since then the platform has simply tanked. The reality now is, no matter how good Windows phone devices may or may not be, as a hardware platform Windows on mobile is dead.
A glance at the Microsoft Store shows that the company is continuing to cull devices. Half of the Windows smartphones listed have now been removed.
Microsoft’s own unlocked Lumia 640 XL, Lumia 650, and unlocked Lumia 950, Acer’s Liquid Jade Primo and Liquid M330 are gone, as are the Blu Win Jr LTE and Win HD LTE. That leaves the unlocked Alcatel Idol 4S, HP Elite x3 Bundle, HP Elite x3 Lap Dock Bundle, Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL, Lumia 550, and Lumia 735.
Of those products, all but the Lumia 735 are supported by Windows 10 Mobile. The 735 is not in stock, so its future is also uncertain at the moment.
As you may remember, Microsoft is no longer making mobile hardware. The company decided to ditch its Lumia business last year and focus on building Windows 10 Mobile for OEMs. That strategy has largely become a disaster.
Microsoft is now left with two scenarios. It just simply lets the Windows mobile platform die or returns to making its own hardware. The latter is the most likely if rumors are true. The Surface Phone and a new line of Lumia’s have been mooted, but how much difference could they make?
It seems the only way Microsoft can make a hardware impact and in turn spur Windows phone growth is to make some genuine game-changing advances. CEO Satya Nadella and HoloLens chief Alex Kipman have both hinted recently that is exactly what the company plans to do.
Let us know below, do you think Windows phone will die, or can Microsoft still recover?