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Microsoft just gave its biggest hint that it will be ending Lumia phones

Its future in making phones is currently up in the air.

In some ways, Microsoft's Lumia range has been a zombie lumbering around.
In some ways, Microsoft's Lumia range has been a zombie lumbering around.
Image: AP Photo/Manu Fernandez

WITH NOKIA ANNOUNCING its return to the smartphone market, Microsoft is currently shedding off parts of its own phone business.

Microsoft is selling off its feature phones division to Foxconn, a electronics company which provides components to products like the iPhone, Kindle, Playstation 4 and Xbox One, for $350 million (€310 million).

As part of the deal, around 4,5000 employees will be transferred to Foxconn as well as its feature phone assets which include brands, software and care support.

Interestingly, Microsoft’s statement said it will “continue to develop Windows 10 Mobile and support Lumia phones such as the Lumia 650, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, and phones from OEM partners like Acer, Alcatel, HP, Trinity, and VAIO”.

The statement suggests that, for now at least, it’s looking at a future without the Lumia range, which was originally owned by Nokia before Microsoft bought it. The Lumia 950 and 950 XL were released late last year while the 650 arrived in February, but no other devices are planned.

Microsoft One of the last Lumia phones Microsoft released was the Lumia 950 but it's unlikely any more will follow it. Source: AP Photo/Richard Drew

There have been rumours that it’s working on a Surface phone, a smartphone version of its hybrid laptop/tablet range, but it’s not expected to arrive until early next year.

Three years ago, Microsoft purchased Nokia’s phone division for €5.4 billion which included both its smartphone and feature phone business. From that, the company has written off most of its assets and it saw its smartphone sales drop significantly.

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In the last three months of 2015, it only sold 2.3 million Lumia devices, a huge drop from the 8.6 million sold in the same period in 2014.

It has also focused more on releasing new products for iOS and Android with Windows chief Terry Myerson telling The Verge that the company’s focus wasn’t on phones this year.

Read: After its dramatic fall from the top of the mobile world, Nokia is planning a comeback >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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