The balance between announcing phones and releasing them has always been a sore spot in the Nokia (now Microsoft) story. The Lumia 640 could be held as a perfect example of the confusing and vague release story of new Windows Phones. The phone was announced March 2nd and still isn't for sale on AT&T yet and there haven't been any clear messages coming from Microsoft or AT&T. The best lead yet comes from WinSuperSite which claims the 640 will be coming to AT&T at the end of June. However, in keeping with tradition, Microsoft replies with "We do not have anything to share at this time."
"While attending a local Microsoft sponsored event I had my first opportunity to take a quick look at these two devices and discuss them with the Lumia rep working the product table. It was during this conversation that I learned the two phones would be arriving this month on AT&T. The Microsoft Lumia 640 will be available first, possibly within the next week, and cost in the low to mid $100 dollar range. The Microsoft Lumia 640XL will arrive by the end of June and cost approximately $100 more than its sibling," the report states.
Apple sees lots of success in their iPhones because they make good products, but also because they surround the products they make with understandable and predictable patterns. Microsoft's Lumia line has been plagued with several models all being similar, but different with wildly scattered availability and price. The 640 doesn't help the situation either because the phone comes in a huge range of models each with different names, for example the Lumia 640 XL Dual-SIM LTE. The phone has a rolling release date and an unknown price.
Turning around a hardware maker as large as Nokia isn't easy and takes a lot of time to do. So far Microsoft hasn't done much to simplify their phone offerings or release new flagship devices. Still the most damaging thing happening to the Lumia line involves the inability for customers to just buy the products. Hopefully the upcoming generation of phones will have a concise number of models and they will be available on all major carriers at a competitive price. Whatever they do Microsoft needs to make a change to give the wonderful Lumia line of phones a fighting chance against some of the toughest competition yet.