With CES 2016 behind us, the next big opportunity for device makers (including Microsoft) to announce new hardware is coming up in March at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The MWC has traditionally been a time when many manufactures announce their phones for the next few quarters of the year, and now rumors are emerging that Microsoft maybe be introducing up to two new phones at MWC 2016.
The report comes from Techradar, which suggests Microsoft may be introducing one or possibly two new handsets to fill out the mid-rage portion of their portfolio of new Windows 10 Mobile phones. So far, Microsoft has released the flagships of their Windows 10 Mobile lineup, the Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL. In December Microsoft also released the budget friendly Lumia 550, which also runs Windows 10 Mobile. But there has been no official announcement of a mid-range device to fill in Microsoft’s lineup for new Window 10 Mobile Devices.
Techradar is suggesting MWC 2016 will see the launch of either the Microsoft Lumia 750 or the Lumia 850, or both. However, we should strongly caution that these are just rumors. And in fact these rumors run contrary to other reports that both the Lumia 750 and Lumia 850 projects were canceled not long after Satya Nadella announced Microsoft’s now well known (or infamous depending on your POV) strategic retreat in mobile phones.
The report is based off of rumors that a mid-range device that is not the Lumia 650 has made its rounds through various Asian certification agencies in a timeline that is keeping a MWC 2016 announcement. However, our own sources have yet to see a Lumia 750 or Lumia 850 go through the development process like what Microsoft did for both the Lumia 950 or the Lumia 650 (which is also yet to be officially announced). The only clues point to a Lumia 750 being certified in Asian countries with a 5.7 inch screen, 2GB of RAM, Snapdragon 607 SOC, and a 7mm width to the body of the reported phone.
These are rumors, but Satya Nadella did speak of Microsoft offering three new phone segments going forward: a budget phone, a business minded mid-range phone, and premium flagships for the Windows Phone fans. The mid-range portion of Microsoft’s lineup has yet to be filled and MWC is a perfect time for a Windows 10 Mobile refresh. However, despite the new rumors circulating, the most logical conclusion still remains that the midrange will be filled by a Lumia 650, and the 650 alone. But with Microsoft now in full control of its mobile phone business, and with Windows 10 Mobile rolling out, anything might be possible. We’ll just have to wait and see. Stay tuned for more as MWC 2016 approaches. And if you want to read up on everything we know about the Lumia 650 so far, you can find more information here.
Should Microsoft still continue with a full lineup of phones, including a refresh of the 700 and 800 series? Or should Microsoft stick to a more concentrated strategy of announcing only three limited phone segments in this cycle? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.