Only AT&T will offer the Lumia 950/950XL in the U.S.
Microsoft Store will sell the unlocked variants
USA is a tough market for Microsoft. The company currently holds around 3.5% in the country, while in other regions, like Europe, Windows Phone has surpassed 10%. Microsoft made many mistakes in the past, like not selling the Lumia Icon/930 through all carriers and retailers. At the same time, the US carriers were definitely not promoting the platform enough and the OS updates were often delayed for months or completely forgotten. That’s why, Microsoft announced, earlier this year, that the company will reconsider relationships with carriers that do not work.
For Lumia 950 and 950 XL, Microsoft is planning to rely only on AT&T for promoting and selling the phones, while the other carriers, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint, won’t be selling the flagship smartphones for now. The company comments:
“Partnering with AT&T is executing on that focus (on areas where Microsoft believes it can win) and we’re very happy to work them.”
For customers who want to buy the smartphones contract-free, Microsoft will be selling unlocked variants on its official web store. These SIM free phones will work on T-Mobile and AT&T, while the support for Verizon Wireless is highly questionable.
We will keep you updated once some new information becomes available.