After first denying it, HP confirms axing of Elite x3 smartphone
It was only last week that HP denied a report that it was planning on ditching its Elite x3 Windows Mobile-based smartphone. At the time it said HP released a statement stating that it was still planning on supporting the Elite x3 as a wider product line into 2019. It has now backtracked on that commitment. The last high-end smartphone available on the market to the run the operating system, it all but signals the death of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform as we currently know it.
HP executive Nick Lazaridis has told The Register that Microsoft’s change of strategy on mobile has meant that HP has had no option but to reevaluate its plans. According to Lazaridis, “without Microsoft’s drive and support [in mobile] it doesn’t make sense.” As HP is not a software company, Lazaridis it couldn’t continue to commit to a market where there is such a limited ecosystem. With regard to HP’s commitment to the Elite x3 as a product line, Lazaridis said that HP did have plans to extend the product line up. In fact, there were going “to be a number of products.” However, HP is now only committed to offering sales and support to the Elite x3 until 2019.
The launch of the Elite x3 last year marked the first high-end Windows Phone to launch following the last of Microsoft’s high-end Windows Mobile devices, which launched in 2015. At the time, however, it wasn’t clear that Microsoft had planned on axing its on Windows Mobile product line and that there were to be no further Lumia-branded Windows Mobile devices. Instead, the Microsoft has switched its hardware efforts to focus on its Surface-branded tablets, notebooks and desktops.
Moving forward, HP is said to be working on alternative mobile solutions. However, if they are indeed going to include smartphones, they will be more likely to running Android. The writing was on the wall for Windows Mobile when it recently became public knowledge that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates had switched from Windows Mobile to an Android device. This would also suggest that the rumored Surface Phone is unlikely to see the light of day.