The steady flow of low-end Lumia phones has been a bit disheartening for some Windows Phone loyalists. Event after event, low to mid range phones are paraded out, with no signs of a flagship in sight. Typically when asked about flagships, Microsoft offers some half-hearted one-liner about the future and then a wink and nod to current “flagships” on the market. Handsets like the 930, Lumia Icon, and Lumia 1520 have held the flagship anchor for Windows Phone for almost two years.
As of today, the Windows Phone ship just lost one of its anchors. Visiting the Microsoft Store, as well as Windows Phone partner AT&T reveals the Lumia 1520 is no longer being listed ‘for sale’. Instead, visitors are met with choices of the Lumia 830, HTC One (M8), 635, and Lumia 640XL (coming soon) for purchase on AT&T contracts. In North America, the 6” phablet was only sold through a contract at participating AT&T retailers.
The Lumia 1520 first hit the streets of North America in November 2013, helping to bolster AT&T’s Windows Phone lineup. At the time, the wireless carrier was offering the flagship alongside the Lumia 920 and 1020.
AT&T Windows Phone users had their pick of catering flagships from specialized camera phones to the platforms' first ever phablet and truly future-proof device. A year and a half later, Windows Phone users are looking toward the (decidedly mid-range) Lumia 830 for a flagship experience.
In the smartphone world, a flagship device tends to last a year before it’s replaced with a newer and shinier version of itself. The Lumia 1520, for Windows Phone users, was an exception to that rule. Depending on your market, a variant of the Lumia 1520 was delivered with built-in wireless charging. The Lumia 1520 also packed a processor that rivals some phones on the market today. The phone still has arguably one of the best cameras on the market, and the 6” display gives phablet-toting users something to compare.
With fewer and fewer aspirational devices to look forward to, and no word or hints about the next “flagship” aside from the generalized "wait until Windows 10 comes out," this news may hit hard for some would be Windows Phone users or people who recommend the platform.
Hopefully at Build, Microsoft will touch on the Windows Phone ecosystem a bit. With apps dropping like flies, preview builds not being delivered in a timely manner, questionable UI and UX changes, and disappearing flagships, Windows Phone is becoming less and less of a playground you want to be at.
We've reached out to Microsoft for comment on the matter and we'll update this story if we get a response.
Thanks for all the tips, guys!