Just one day after Microsoft’s big event where it unveiled the new Lumia 950 phones as well as the Surface Pro 4 and Surfacebook, John Legere took to Twitter to accuse Microsoft of making the Lumia 950 phones an AT&T exclusive. While Legere generally does well on his Twitter rants, it seems this round is being vocally overtaken by some seriously upset Windows Phone fans. Legere claims that Microsoft decided to go the route of the Amazon Fire Phone and make the Lumia’s exclusive to AT&T, but other reports indicate that is not true. Some Twitter users are accusing Legere of just not being interested in selling Windows Phone and is now backpedaling to save face and pin blame on Microsoft.
UPDATE 10/07/15 9:00pm EST: We reached out to T-Mobile for a response to this story and a spokesperson had the following to say. “We haven’t had the opportunity to consider the phone for our portfolio but if Microsoft decides to expand to other carriers in the U.S., of course we’d evaluate it.”
To add to the story one of our readers uncovered some interesting links that may actually prove Legere’s claims. Currently the Lumia 950XL is available for purchase in the Microsoft store but the 950 is not. This is leading to speculation that the smaller 950 is going to indeed be an AT&T exclusive, this is why it is not on the store. Our reader uncovered a hidden link that you cannot navigate to from within Microsoft’s website. It links to the 950 with an inflated price point and this may be a placeholder for the AT&T exclusive deal. We’re not sure why the link is hidden but we are hoping Microsoft will respond to our request for comment.
UPDATE 2 10/07/15 9:08pm EST: John Legere tweets out a clarification.
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) October 8, 2015
UPDATE 3 10/07/15 9:25pm EST: Upon looking at those URLs again we determined that the “hidden link” was actually a linkback to the Microsoft Canada website where the 950 is for sale unlocked. This means the 950 is actually no where on Microsoft’s US website leading to continued speculation that the 950 is indeed carrier exclusive to AT&T.
Update 4 10/8/15 03:30pm EST: A Microsoft spokesperson responded to our request for more information with the following:
We’re refocusing our channel strategy, narrowing it in the short-term and planning for broader operator availability long-term. While there was interest across the board from U.S. operators, currently we’ve made the decision to have AT&T carry the Lumia 950, and then sell both the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL unlocked through our own channel in Microsoft stores.
In Europe, Deutsche Telekom will carry the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, and we’ll have more to share about other carriers shortly.
It seems that the Lumia 950 will be an AT&T exclusive afterall.
Some Twitter users brought proof through media embeds that the Lumia line was not to be an exclusive but open to all carriers.
Some users simply lashed out at Legere calling him a liar.
Some users challenged Legere to get on the phone to Microsoft and make it happen, since he was on Twitter complaining.
As far as we can tell right now, AT&T was the only carrier to accept the new Microsoft Lumia 950 phones to sell in their stores. There has been no mention of exclusivity and the Microsoft forums indicate you can buy one unlocked and take it to the carrier of your choosing. We’ve reached out to T-Mobile and Microsoft for comment on the situation and will update this post when we can.