If you happen to want a first-party Windows Phone or a Windows 10 Mobile device these days, you won’t be able to get one directly from the source, although we did find one exception: as of this post, you can get a white Lumia 950 locked to AT&T for $298.99, direct from the Microsoft Store.
Yep, of the 13 Windows Phone products that the Microsoft Store lists on its online catalog, we found stock for only six of them and two of them were bundles for the HP Elite x3. Out of the seven Lumia phone options — ranging from carrier-locked older models from the Nokia days like the 735 to Microsoft’s latest Lumia 950 series — on the site, only the mentioned SKU was available for purchase. And, if things go the way they do with a little exposure on the internet, we bet that won’t even last.
Here’s the big deal about this purge: when Microsoft can’t sell an actively produced item because of inventory levels, it will typically replace the purchase button with one that lets you input your email address and then get notified when more stock comes in. No such notification option in these cases — just an “out of stock” indicator.
Sure, other retailers might be able to help you out in that aspect and, if you’re lucky and willing, you can probably snag units at physical Microsoft Stores. But the purge comes at an odd time for the company as it is expected to debut a whole bunch of hardware at some event in this half of the year. None of it will be mobile and, thus, Surface Phone-related, which will have to wait until the back half.
That said, the Redmond, Washington-based company did announce with Qualcomm that a manufacturer partner would debut a new Windows 10 phone with x86 app emulation sometime in the early part of this year. Could it be as early as this quarter or at the Microsoft event? We’ve got no word on that, but we’d love to hear some more.