Less than three months ago, Microsoft slashed 17% off the Lumia 950 and 950 XL in the UK - its second permanent price cut on the two handsets this year. Today, for a third time, its reduced the cost of both Windows 10 Mobile flagships, and there's no indication that this is a limited time offer.
Since June, the Microsoft Store has been selling the Lumia 950 for £319.99 unlocked, while the Lumia 950 XL was priced at £399.99. The two devices originally went on sale in the UK in December for £449.99 and £529.99 respectively.
For short-term promotional discounts or offers, Microsoft usually applies a tag at the top of the store listing, along with terms and conditions at the very bottom, indicating that it's a limited time deal. But the absence of any such details on the Lumia 950 and 950 XL listings points to this being yet another permanent reduction.
Last month, in the US, Microsoft cut $150 (27%) off the Lumia 950, and $200 (31%) off the 950 XL.
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 the prices have fallen since launch.
- 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 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.
- Today: Microsoft again cuts the price of both flagships, reducing the Lumia 950 to just £249, and the 950 XL to £339.