If you've been a bit confused by the launch of HP's new Windows 10 Mobile flagship, you're not the only one. But after numerous delays, 'out of stock' notices, and pre-orders repeatedly opening and closing, the Microsoft Store has begun selling the device today.
In the US, Microsoft opened pre-orders for the device on August 22, priced at $799, including the Desk Dock accessory, promising deliveries from September 12. But earlier this month, it pushed back the release date by two weeks, to September 26. Meanwhile, HP.com began accepting pre-orders on September 5, before running out of stock two days later.
While the Microsoft Store has intermittently listed the Elite x3 as either out of stock or available to pre-order, it suddenly began shipping the device around September 14 to some buyers who had pre-ordered it - 12 days earlier than its revised September 26 release date. As shipments began, the device was again available to pre-order from the Microsoft Store, before it later went out of stock again.
But a few days ago, Windows Central reported that Microsoft had delayed all further sales of the handset until mid-October - both online and in stores - pending the release of new firmware. That report emerged shortly after HP quietly deleted references to the Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update arriving for the Elite x3 around September 13, stating instead that that update will now arrive "in the coming weeks".
But despite that report, the Microsoft Store again re-opened pre-orders for the device over the weekend, saying that it would be released on September 26.
And today, as promised, the Elite x3 is officially available from the Microsoft Store. You can add the device to your cart and check out, with free delivery promised within "3-7 business days". However, Microsoft isn't offering an express delivery option of 1-2 business days, which it offers on some other devices purchased from its store.
But while Microsoft is now selling the device, the HP.com store listing in the US has had no stock available since the original batch apparently sold out on September 7. It continues to show a 'notify me' button in place of the 'add to cart' option, and there's no indication of when further stock will become available there.
There's been similar confusion over in the UK, where the Microsoft Store has also been out of stock for some time, and is now advising customers to buy an Acer Liquid Jade Primo handset instead. The Elite x3's UK launch was delayed twice before it eventually began shipping on August 31, but as in the US, those hoping to order the handset have faced similar uncertainty over availability since then.
HP originally announced the Elite x3 seven months ago.
Source: Microsoft Store (US)