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Six months after launch, T-Mobile ends sales of Alcatel's Windows 10 Mobile flagship

In November, T-Mobile US exclusively launched the Alcatel IDOL 4S with Windows 10, a flagship-class Windows phone with plenty of high-end specs, an appealing price tag, and - uniquely - support for virtual reality, with its own VR headset. The device was priced at $469 from the carrier when it originally went on sale, but two months later, its price was reduced by 8% to $432.

"Web exclusive"

In February, T-Mobile slashed another third off its price, cutting to $288. That reduction was marked as a 'special offer', but the deal never actually ended... until now, as the device has been removed from T-Mobile's web store. Try to view its product listing, and the page won't load at all; try to search for a Windows or Alcatel device on the T-Mo site, and you'll be told that there are "no items found".

The handset was always labeled as a 'web exclusive', with no availability in the carrier's retail stores. T-Mobile's online sales assistants confirmed today that the IDOL 4S is no longer part of its range; one rep acknowledged: "it was there yesterday but, it is not available for sale anymore. Hopefully we can get another Alcatel or Windows phone to replace that one."

Its removal from the T-Mobile range means that the carrier is no longer offering any Windows phones for sale. Those in the US wishing to purchase the Alcatel IDOL 4S with Windows 10 - which scored highly in our recent review - can still do so via the Microsoft Store, which usually lists the unlocked version of the device at $470, but has recently reduced its price to $400 in a limited-time offer that's due to end on April 30.

Key specs of the IDOL 4S with Windows 10 include:

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED with Full HD (1920x1080px) resolution and Asahi Dragontrail Glass
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage (plus microSD card support up to 128GB)
  • 21MP rear camera with Sony IMX230 sensor, HDR support, 4K video recording at 30fps, and dual-LED flash
  • 8MP front-facing camera with wide angle lens, 1080p video at 30fps, and LED flash
  • 4G LTE connectivity
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • USB Type-C connector with Quick Charge support
  • 3000mAh battery
  • 6.9mm thick

The reasons for T-Mobile's decision to end sales of the IDOL 4S with Windows 10 remain unclear, but its removal from the carrier's range after just six months suggests that the device may have been in low demand. Given the shrinking sales of all Windows phones in recent quarters, that wouldn't come as a great shock.

But this isn't quite the end of the line for Alcatel's Windows 10 Mobile flagship. At Mobile World Congress in February, the company announced plans to sell the device in Europe as the 'IDOL 4 Pro', featuring identical specs and designs to its US counterpart. However, the handset - which will go on sale in European markets sometime before the end of this quarter - will come at a much higher price there of €599 ($635).

Still, the IDOL 4S with Windows 10 lasted a lot longer in T-Mobile's range than the HTC 10, which the carrier dropped from its line-up after just two months last year.

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