Microsoft looks to tone down its portfolio by releasing no more than 6 smartphones a year

Microsoft Lumia 640
Malarie Gokey/Digital Trends
In the heels of relieving 7,800 employees in its phone business of their duties, Microsoft will reportedly release no more than six smartphones per year moving forward, Bloomberg reports.

According to an unnamed source, Microsoft will streamline its smartphone portfolio in the form of three types of devices: phones meant for those on a budget, business-centered devices, and high-end devices. The source said Microsoft will release one or two models a year in each of the three aforementioned categories in the future. In addition, Microsoft will no longer maintain its mobile presence and carrier relationships in locations where it hasn’t seen much success. Even though one can argue that the United States itself is one such market, Microsoft will likely keep making phones for the region due to its size.

Interestingly enough, Microsoft already has six phones in the market for 2015: the Lumia 435, Lumia 532, Lumia 640, Lumia 640 XL, Lumia 430, and Lumia 540 Dual. However, rumor has it Microsoft will release two new high-end Lumia handsets, codenamed Talkman and Cityman, later this year. Both will reportedly sport 3GB of RAM, QHD displays, 20-megapixel cameras, and triple-LED flash. More specifically, the Cityman will allegedly support Windows 10’s Continuum, which will transform the phone into a desktop when plugged into a monitor.

Those might not be the only two Lumia smartphones due out for later this year, however. Over on Twitter, known industry leaker Evan Blass teased that Microsoft is working on a Lumia smartphone with front-facing LED flash:

We’ve seen front-facing LED flash on smartphones before, such as on the HTC Desire Eye and the Sony Xperia C4, but it would be the first time such a feature is incorporated in a Lumia smartphone. Unfortunately, that’s all Blass revealed about this enigmatic smartphone, so we’ll keep you updated when we get more information.

Regardless, taking into account Microsoft’s $7.6 billion writedown yesterday, as well as rumors of a streamlined smartphone portfolio, one can’t help but think the company might be slightly moving its focus away from smartphones. By that same token, however, Microsoft doesn’t seem ready to give up on its mobile business just yet.


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