@Mediaman Actually, I think it is hard to blame Rogers. Windows Phone simply doesn't have enough of a user base, or "buzz," to justify an investment by Rogers into the platform. That may change, but that's the way things are now.
One way to tell is just click on the link to a message board for one of the other platforms. Each of Android and iOS will have way more topics, and many, many more posts. This thread might attract, at most, a couple of hundred angry posts (many of them repeat visitors, such as myself). An iPhone thread can attract a thousand. Some of them have over 10,000.
When Rogers sees numbers like that on a Windows Phone community forum, you can bet they will rethink. Not before then, I fear.
In any event, the carrier-subsidy model has always been something of a rip-off. They lure in everyone, but only really make sense to those that simply can't afford to drop close to a grand at one time for a phone.
What we may see happening is something like what Apple has done recently; i.e., it is offering new iPhones for purchase on instalment plans. Perhaps Microsft will do the same to entice potential Windows Phone customers. It appears to be a growing trend, and definitely a strategy for breaking the device manufacturers' thralldom to the big wireless carriers.
Interestingly, T-Mobile in the USA wants to carry the 950/950XL, but feels shut out by Microsoft:
Yesterday, T-Mobile CEO John Legere ranted on Twitter about Microsoft's failure to reach out to T-Mobile about carrying the new Lumia phones.
"To be clear: We did not turn down the new Windows devices. MSFT gave to AT&T. If @microsoft wakes up, we'll talk about @TMobile carrying," tweeted Legere.
This is an interesting topic to get a handle on, and I've been trying to read as much as I can.
I was thinking going unlocked for my next phone (ideally an upgrade to my Rogers Lumia 1020). I can see the point of the financing schemes and easy upgrades, etc., but from what I understand about Windows 10 there would be issues to being tied to the policies of telecom carriers.
Windows 10 Mobile, from what I understand, has the same characteristic as full Windows 10-- regular updates, not just to the many features that are now Store apps, but several upgrades to core features every year. Windows 10 is a service, not a fixed operating system. Given the delays the carriers often imposed, I can see the logic of being freed from carrier terms. This makes me think that even if Rogers offered the new Lumias, I would be hesitant to jump on board.
I would continue to be a happy Rogers customer if they provided good and well-priced voice and data services for my unlocked Lumia (probably the 950XL, once I check them out in person).
My impression has been that previous Microsoft unlocked phones (I guess more common in Europe) get updated through Microsoft. It has been strange to read recent comments about lack of carrier availability for the new Lumias, when I've read complaints over the years about unjustified long delays in updates for Lumia phones.
Also, for PCs at least, Microsoft has taken over from PC manufacturers the main system updating functions (read that somewhere on thurrott.com). That's been my understanding of a key change in Windows, that it's a service which is now primarily supported directly through Microsoft and not as much through third parties.
I know what you mean. i considered going Android when the news broke about the 950 unavailability with Canadian carriers. So yesterday I went to a local Rogers and played on an android phone. I cant do it. No chance Ill go to anything else. So I think Ill get myself a Lumia 930 unlocked somewhere and save up money for the next Windows Phone that Panos will design.
For those who go for the unlocked phones, is the current best option to go for the "No Tab" option on the Share Everything plan? No Tab is $20 off the monthly bill for paying for the phone in full at a Microsoft store. If I plan to use it for more than a couple of years (and the Lumias are built like tanks), that seems reasonable. The dual SIM models that I could travel with, etc., and also move entirely to a different carrier because they're unlocked, seem like good options to consider.
Financing is an issue. From what I understand Apple is offering both unlocked iPhones and their own financing plans, and it would be a good idea if Microsoft did something similar.
From what I understand, the 950 and 950XL unlocked will work with all Canadian carriers. I never liked the idea of the Canadian carriers having different models, since some day I may have been forced into a choice I wouldn't like with my carrier.
With my Lumia 1020 I ended up installing updates through the Developer Preview program. There's no way I'm giving up that flexibility to be tied to a carrier's update schedule.
I too love the Windows interface, live tiles etc, even on my old windows phone. But the $1000 price tag for the flagship meant I would have to wait. This got me thinking...with the rest of the world on Android, and a billion or so apps out there, surely they must have an app, for android pohnes, that provided a windows like interface - They of course do.
Check out apps like WP Launcher ( Launcher 8):
Overview : https://youtu.be/pMVzHT7xvpc
There mght even be better implementations and / or Windows 10 launcher apps - lots to choose from.
For the apps on Windows Mobile, the situation will likely change. Microsoft is almost ready to deliver the tools that can port Android and iOS apps over to Windows 10 Mobile. In the wild, from what I've read, some have already managed to sideload Android apps onto Windows 10 Mobile, which includes a subsystem to support many Android functions.
The other rumour is that the recent legal settlement between Microsoft and Google will lead the way to Google apps appearing in the universal app format. That also means they'll work with Continuum. For those that can't afford an additional computing device other than a smartphone, being able connect a Lumia 950 to a keyboard and monitor (even entirely wirelessly) is an interesting option. In Europe, I heard they're even bundling the Display Dock that supports this with some purchases of a 950 model. The Lumias can continue to work independently while Continuum is being used, and they can also double as trackpads.
The lack of broad carrier compatibility and almost non-existent carrier promotion ensure that the 950 and 950 XL will not be big sellers. This is disappointing for the existing customers that enjoy the platform; it further reduces the relevance of the Universal Windows Platform, and it means that even new features like Continuum will have minimal reach. Continuum could be attractive to mobile workers and road warriors, but it isn't going to do a thing for anyone who wants or needs to use Verizon's network.
And fundamentally, it's disappointing because we've seen this situation before. Windows Phone has struggled from day one with poor carrier availability and promotion, combined with a lack of real continuity: customers who take an interest in the platform and are now 18 or 24 months into their contracts have been left with nowhere to go but Android or iPhone before. We'd hoped that Windows 10 and Microsoft's revised phone strategy might have done something about this. It appears that it hasn't.
I have read a lot of those articles as well, from thurrott.com, Windows Central, Winbeta, Ars Technica, etc. I think that there is enough indication that Microsoft is going towards an Intel-based Windows 10 Mobile solution, which will run Win32 applications that can be wrapped and downloaded from the Store (but won't work on ARM-based phones). These would work well with Continuum.
But I don't think that negates the value of the 950 and 950XL (which would predominantly be used for touch-optimized apps), and I'd still rather try to get out of the carrier financing plans. Windows Phone has done well in Europe (latest Kantar numbers puts it at about 10%), and this is because the carrier lock-in isn't like the U.S. or Canada, and these phones depend more on their price/performance. For that reason, and some recent bulk purchases by enterprises (such as the New York Police Department), I don't think Windows Mobile is going anywhere. There will also continue to be a large number of budget Windows Phones around.
If the new phones (perhaps called "Surface Phones") arrive, it'll likely be a few months if not a year or so before I would want to switch again, especially if Windows 10 Mobile gets constantly updated with new features.
I'd rather see Microsoft copy Apple on providing financing for Windows 10 Mobile, and then pair that with a BYOD plan with whatever carrier works best. That's makes so much more sense than putting up with the idea that the carrier approach is best. In the case of Verizon in the U.S., even when they had Windows Phones, there were ridiculous delays in updaing them.
Talked to every carrier store in my local mall today. I think I'm going to stick with my Lumia 920 for another 4-6 months and simply wait for the 950XL to go on sale. The reality is that these phones will not sell in Canada. Microsoft refuses to offer a payment plan at any of its stores (I know because I've called them) and no carrier appears willing to sell them in Canada. So, the phone will be fire-saled very quickly. A lousy business plan for Microsoft, but a boon for those of us who like Microsoft in spite of itself!
At least where I live (the Fraser Valley east of Vancouver), Koodo and Fido look like the cheapest BYOD providers, by the way.