A new report claims Microsoft will announce its first and last Lumia smartphone of 2016 on Feb. 1. The Lumia 650 will reportedly close out the Lumia series and have a low-key launch as Microsoft shifts its attention to its rumored Surface Phone.
BlackBerry, Microsoft, Palm and Nokia were the biggest and most successful players in the smartphone arena before Apple released the original iPhone in June 2007 and Google's release of its first Android-powered smartphone, the T-Mobile G1, in October 2008. Apple and Google's entry into the smartphone world quickly took a toll on the previous leaders, forcing each company to completely rethink its mobile strategy.
All of the companies focused on building their next-generation OS from the ground up to compete with iOS and Android. BlackBerry began work on its touch-focused BlackBerry 10 OS, which would power the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10. Palm dropped its aging Palm OS for webOS, which would power the company's Pre smartphones and TouchPad tablet. Nokia decided to shift from using its in-house Symbian OS and exclusively adopt Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 to power its new Lumia smartphones.
Palm and BlackBerry were never able to gain traction competing with iOS and Android, but Nokia showed signs of success, as its Lumia series quickly became the face of Windows Phone even though licensees like Samsung, HTC and LG all offered handsets running Microsoft's new smartphone OS.
Taking a page out of Apple's iPhone and Google's Nexus playbook, Microsoft wanted to build both the smartphones and software that ran on the handsets, and announced in 2013 it would acquire Nokia for $7.2 billion.
The Nokia acquisition and Lumia series haven't done much to help Microsoft move up in the smartphone chain but it has seen success with its Surface tablets and new Surface Book and is expected to capitalize on the Surface brand by introducing a Surface Phone running Windows 10 Mobile in the fall.
While Windows Phone fans wait for the Surface Phone, Microsoft is slated to release its first and last Lumia smartphone of 2016. According to Windows Central, Microsoft is planning to announce the Lumia 650 on Feb. 1 in a low-key manner via their official blog.
The Microsoft Lumia 650 will be a mid-range smartphone, and is expected to feature a 5-inch 720p display. It will be powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 chip and 1 GB of RAM. The handset will include 8 GB of internal storage, which can be expanded via its microSD slot. It will ship with an 8-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front-facing shooter and 2,000 mAh removable battery. The smartphone will have a premium metal frame and choice of Matte White or Matte Black color options.
As always, we'll keep you posted on any new details regarding the Microsoft Lumia 650 as they surface.