As our regular readers will be aware, the cost of Microsoft's Windows 10 Mobile flagships has been dropping since before they even went on sale a year ago. Last month, Microsoft cut the price of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL to £249 and £339 respectively - their third permanent price cut this year - but it didn't take long for Amazon to go even further, reducing the XL to £299.99.
Last week, the Microsoft Store and Amazon.co.uk both ran out of stock of the smaller Lumia 950. And with both devices now reaching the end of their retail life, deeper discounts are becoming available as retailers clear out their remaining stock.
Mobile Phones Direct is the latest to offer a hefty price reduction, slashing the cost of the device to just £256.99 - that's £82.01 below the price at which the 950 XL is currently listed on the Microsoft Store. The retailer had previously been selling the handset for £289.
However, bear in mind that if you buy from the Microsoft Store, you'll get a free Display Dock worth £79.99 with the device - an offer that's not available on purchases from other retailers. The Display Dock enables use of Windows 10 Mobile's Continuum mode, which allows buyers to use a mouse and keyboard with the phone when connected to a larger display.
While the Dock is no longer available to buy separately from the Microsoft Store, other retailers are still selling it for less than its full price. If the Continuum feature is important to you, you could, for example, get the handset from Mobile Phones Direct, and the Display Dock from Amazon for £53.83, and still save almost £30 on the Microsoft Store price for the Lumia 950 XL.
The Lumia 950 XL's key specs include:
- 5.7-inch AMOLED with Quad HD (2560x1440px) resolution
- Octa-core 2.0GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB onboard storage (plus microSD card slot)
- 20MP PureView rear camera with auto focus, 6-lens optics, triple-LED flash, optical image stabilization and 4K video recording at 30fps
- 5MP front-facing camera with wide-angle lens and 1080p video recording
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with Wi-Fi Direct support
- Qi wireless charging
- 3340mAh battery
- USB 3.1 port with Type-C connector
- 151.9 x 78.4 x 8.3mm; 165g
Source: Mobile Phones Direct
Timeline: Lumia 950 and 950 XL pricing in the UK
Microsoft and its retail partners have been steadily reducing the prices of its Windows 10 Mobile flagships in the UK since before the devices even went on sale there. This timeline shows how their prices have fallen since last year.
- October 6, 2015: Microsoft unveils the Lumia 950 and 950 XL in New York City.
- Mid-October: Microsoft lists the Lumia 950 at £499.99 SIM-free, and the Lumia 950 XL at £549.99, on its UK Store.
- October 24: Microsoft quietly cuts its prices before pre-orders have opened, reducing the 950 to £449.99, and the 950 XL to £529.99.
- November 10: Amazon slashes its pre-order prices, cutting £20 off the 950, and £50 off the 950 XL.
- November 16: Amazon trims its pre-order prices again, reducing both handsets by a further £10.
- January 13, 2016: Amazon and Carphone Warehouse both reduce the Lumia 950 to £399.99.
- January 22: Amazon's pricing for the Lumia 950 falls again, to £389.99. Microsoft also cuts its official UK prices for both flagships; the 950 falls by £30 to £419.99, while the 950 XL drops by £60 to £469.99.
- February 2: Expansys reduces the Lumia 950 to £379.99.
- April 6: Expansys cuts the 950's price to £369.99, and lists certain variants of both the 950 and 950 XL as having "been discontinued".
- April 8: Amazon reduces the 950 to under £344, but its pricing later returns to around £370.
- April 21: Microsoft announces that it has sold just 2.3 million Lumia Windows Phones worldwide during the first quarter of 2016. In its earnings call, the company's chief financial officer admits: "Sell-through of our Lumia products was weak, and we exited the quarter with relatively high channel inventory."
- April 25: Four days after revealing the extent of its poor handset sales, Microsoft launches a deal in the US and Canada, offering a free Lumia 950 with purchases of a Lumia 950 XL.
- April 28: In lieu of a similar buy-one-get-one-free deal in the UK, Microsoft instead offers £40 off the Lumia 950 when purchased with a Surface device.
- May 24: Microsoft announces it will be giving away a free Display Dock worth £79.99 with either handset in the UK.
- June 6: Microsoft slashes a further 17% off the 950 and 950 XL, reducing them to £319.99 and £399.99 respectively.
- June 14: Amazon pushes its price for the 950 XL down even further, to £368.
- July 29: Amazon and Carphone Warehouse both reduce the Lumia 950 XL to £359.99. On the same day, it emerges that Microsoft sold just 1.2 million smartphones worldwide during the previous quarter, down 71% year-over-year.
- August 8: The Lumia 950 drops to £289 at Mobile Phones Direct.
- September 2: Microsoft again cuts the UK price of both flagships by up to 22%, reducing the Lumia 950 to £249, and the 950 XL to £339.
- September 5: The Microsoft Store starts giving away a free Display Dock with the 950 and 950 XL again.
- October 5: Amazon reduces the price of the Lumia 950 XL to just £299.99, although it doesn't include the free Display Dock offer available at the Microsoft Store.
- October 26: The Microsoft Store and Amazon.co.uk both run out of Lumia 950 stock.
- Today: The Lumia 950 XL drops to £256.99 at Mobile Phones Direct.