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Lumia 950 XL leaked images foreshadow Win10 Mobile's future

Matt Hamblen | Aug. 6, 2015
Recent leaked images of a Lumia 950 XL smartphone prototype point to it as Microsoft's next flagship running Windows 10 Mobile.

While its phone business seemed dead to some onlookers, the proof it has life are these few leaked photos of the 950XL and specs of that device as well as the 950. Also, Microsoft has a Windows Mobile Insider Preview for download with a long list of 30 Lumia phones that will run the preview of Windows 10 for Mobile, as well as the HTC One (M8).

The first phones to get Windows 10 Mobile as a free update, not natively like the Lumia 950 and 950XL, were recently identified on a Microsoft website as the Lumia 430, Lumia 532, Lumia 535, Lumia 540, Lumia 640, Lumia 640 XL, Lumia 735, Lumia 830 and Lumia 930.

Windows 10 for existing low-end and high-end Lumia devices seems assured. The question is what happens in the following year and thereafter.

"Flagship devices is what they will create and distribute," Gold said. "But it's unlikely this 950 XL will do much for their market share."

In addition to price, analysts are still wondering whether later Lumia phones will run on Intel chips. Some analysts have confirmed the 950 will run on a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, with the 950XL running a slightly more powerful 64-bit Snapdragon 810 processor.

Microsoft isn't commenting officially on the Lumia 950 or 950XL.

While Gold and some others are convinced Microsoft will focus just on the high end with new mobile phones, Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy said, "no one really knows."

A lot is riding on the Lumia 950 XL, Moorhead said. "If this phone is positioned as the first proof of Microsoft's new mobile device strategy, then this launch is critical to the success of Microsoft mobile devices. A perceived failure could severely hamper any mid-term chance Microsoft has at mobile device success."

 

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