The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL won’t actually launch until November, but when they do arrive the new smartphones will be tied to one U.S. carrier. Both devices will launch as AT&T exclusives for American shoppers.
Microsoft didn’t mention any specific launch details onstage during Tuesday’s event, but in an interview with CNET the company revealed plans to work closely with AT&T. “It’s the best distribution for this family of devices,” said Tuula Rytila, Microsoft’s marketing chief for phones and new devices.
AT&T has a history of scoring exclusive deals on previous Lumia smartphones, though that was before Microsoft bought Nokia’s phone division. The deal will hopefully mean a stronger marketing effort for the new phones on AT&T’s end. Then again, it will also make it harder for U.S. customers to get their hands on the devices.
CNET also checked with an AT&T representative, who confirmed that the carrier will offer the Lumia 950 but wouldn’t comment on the Lumia 950 XL. The smaller 5.2-inch handset is set to cost at least $549, while the larger phablet starts at $649. It’s unclear how much AT&T will charge up front.
UPDATE: It has now been clarified that the devices will not be exclusive to AT&T, although no other carriers have yet to announce plans to carry the phones.