John Legere says T-Mobile is open to carrying Lumia 950 and 950 XL

There's no doubt that there's a lot of conflicting information flying around about the new Lumia 950 and 950 XL and their reported AT&T exclusivity. Now T-Mobile CEO John Legere has taken to Twitter to note that the carrier is definitely open to carrying and selling the new Lumia duo if Microsoft approaches them. From Legere:

"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"

As we previously reported, the Lumia 950 and 950 XL are not exclusive to AT&T, though it appeared at the time that other carriers hadn't expressed interest. Going by Legere's recent comments, that is simply not the case. There's a lot of conflicting information going around right now, but it looks as if there's a definite chance that at least T-Mobile customers might get a shot at Microsoft's latest if a deal is worked out.

Of course, that's only if you go the carrier route. Microsoft will be selling both devices unlocked through the Microsoft Store, so you have nothing to worry about if you're going the unlocked route.

Thanks for the tips!

Source: John Legere (Twitter)

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

377 Comments
  • His tweet had me weak Posted from space
  • Hopefully Microsoft has reached out after that comment from Ledger
  • Lol ikr
  • Haha, ya. He was basically asking for Microsoft to ask.
  • Ask or beg? Carriers will likely want to set the terms until there is proven demand, and a proven low customer return rate. The preview has, so far, been less than convincing in this area. Time will tell.
  • ya need to sell in high volume and also return rate as these sales reps won't push out WP  if there are loads of return
  • Legere has been Anti-WP for a long time. Ironically Over Seas its been a huge success.
    But in the states, they dont even keep the phones for long and they DONT support thoe devices like they do Android and iphone. They dont keep the base images to reformat the phone if something goes wrong. I asked Tmobile employees about that, and they didnt know why either.   
  • Yah but base images aren't even needed with the windows device tool.  So Ms has solved all those issues.  Just needs to keep the update process in its own hands.
  • Huge success?! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That's Microsoft's fault. They have to create demand. T-Mobile USA doesn't carry windows phones anymore because customers kept returning them because of a lack of apps that their friends with iPhones and Android phones have access to. I'm also not speaking of the cheap Lumias. I'm instead talking about devices like the Nokia Lumias 925 and the HTC 8X. I'm on T-Mobile and I'm tired of the duopoly in this market. It used to be great back in the day where there were far more players. Microsoft has to push harder and exclusivity has only ever worked for one company and that was Apple. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • There should only be one term MS has.  "WE CONTROL THE UPDATE PROCESS". If not, MS is doomed like android.
  • MS is doomed like Android? Android has 80% marketshare. How are they doomed? Lol Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Doomed with the insane amount of malware that Google can't fix because the carriers will not update all phones. There are some serious exploits in the wild and no one can do a damn thing. For Microsoft it's worse, it will just prevent them from gaining any shares.  Android already has shares so for them it's all about momentum. 
  • What exploits in the wild? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • umm seriously?  There's a lot.  Here's some. http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/10/a-billion-android-phones-are-vulnerable-to-new-stagefright-bugs/ http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/10/android-adware-wields-potent-root-exploits-to-gain-permanent-foothold/
  • They have said that with Winodws 10, they do control the update process.  Carriers still control the update for existing phones to upgrade from 8.1 to 10, but once on 10 Microsoft has control.  That is what they said before anyway.  We will see if it still holds true.
  • The big question is: Why the fuck hasn't Microsoft been pounding the pavement arranging to get this in the hands of every carrier they can around the world? It looks like they've put next to zero effort on distribution.
  • Exactly!
  • From what I have seen before Microsoft has but the carriers want MS to do all the work and pay for all advertising while they get to dictate what happens. That's like someone saying I'll build you a house the way I like it but you have to do all the work but don't get to call any shots and maybe I just might let you live in it. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Shoes you how much pressure Microsoft has. None. Microsoft has no leverage because their phones have never sold and there is no reason these would be any different. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • If they have "never" sold, why was the 521 one of the highest selling Windows phones ever?
  • Highest selling WINDOWS PHONE! Not highest selling phone. Two very different things. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Because its cheap. HTC 8X sucked, Lumias 925 sucked, even the lumia 1520 sucked in sales. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Well, fact is we don't know what has been going on. I would have considered tmobile eons ago if they carried devices I was interested in. I can't help but feel this is a misleading statement. We know what Microsoft need to do. We know AT&T will carry at learnt one of the phones. Surely there is more going on since even that was reported to not be an exclusive arrangement.
  • I agree. Legere is an act. If TMo network was so good why do they give away microcells? I've carried both an ATT and TMo Lumia phone in my pocket and there is no contest. Fact is TMos spectrum is less penetrating. Every time I enter a building the signal dies. ATT is flawless. They are "cheaper" for a reason. I'll give them credit for keen marketing but their network is not up to snuff. This guy has been known to BS in the past. He's the Trump of the carrier CEOs
  • So don't put the Lumias on the third largest carrier...because that'll sell more devices. Got it. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • This!
  • I agree with you bro!
  • This is the same guy who 2 1/2 months of launch pulled the Lumia 640 off the shelves. If Microsoft spent the money to ship them to T Mobile they spent X dollars. When T-Mobile said they didn't want them no more after such a short time Microsoft probably again paid X dollars to ship them back. Now Microsoft after semi being screwed on the 640 made a business decision off "F IT". We're not going to spend time and resources to get carriers to carry our phones. At&t wants to carry them others obviously don't. So we'll sell them unlocked which then will let our fans buy them for their preferred carrier. Which also stops carriers from adding their bloat apps. But how dare Microsoft not even offer T Mobile a phone they might pull in 3 months.
  • Errm, because the rest of the world buy their phones unlocked and outright, free of unnecessary contractual obligations. MS do not care so much about the North American market as its already is close to saturation and the overall size of the market will never increase. Carrier subsidies suck. Contracts blow. The only way forward is unlocked GSM phones.
  • No kidding. You can't be a distant third and walking away from that. If they haven't called, that's a true shame and black mark on Microsoft.
  • Perhaps they thought it would be better for customers to ask rather than sheepishly ask again themselves?
  • Look, they are no longer competing actively, it's the passive approach. Numbers artificially grown no longer matter to Microsoft (pumping a phone every other month into emerging markets and other markets), the passive approach allows them to focus on one thing and that is software. Along with creating devices to create categories and stimulate demand. Granted they could have really made use of the amount of resources that got axed a few months ago and done alot more in shorter period of time in the phone space. Yes as a fan I do find that somewhat worrying however the I do get the bigger picture. They are telling OEMs, here, have this market as well we are no longer going to compete against you. However we are going to show you how well feature x,y,z works and can be implemented i.e windows hello - iris scanner. Think about it will any phone OEM want to compete with the maker of the O/S that commands almost the entire market in terms of phone hardware?    
  • MS should come out with a payment plan to sock it to the carriers.  Pay it over a year or something to that extent.
  • I was thinking the same thing. Imagine business accounts that want to buy these by the dozen!
  • Many of the other manufacturers do this. Surprised Microsoft doesn't. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Unless the T-Mobile guy is lying, this realy makes me question Microsoft's leadership. That there is this much confusion and misinformation spewing out all over the place after announcing your first flag-ship phones for your new operating system goes to show that Microsoft is totally incompetent when it comes to working with carriers. This is inexusable after FIVE YEARS after the launch of Windows Phone 7. Totally unacceptable. They need to get their act together immediately.
  • Actually, MS hasn't said anything. This is a discussion between the media and the readers that the CEO has jumped into. MS hasn't said anything for a reason. Maybe they were still in negotiations. Notice that they hadn't even mentioned ATT selling it. ATT made their own announcement. Once again the public is being riled up with smoke by the media and impatient fandom wanton speculations. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • uhhhh not exactly. the specs blatantly say that it will not work with other carriers (besides t-mobile). It is a HUGE flaw and will likely destroy windows phone if they do not make it truely a global phone and put in ALL bands of service. If they want to put it on At&T, fine, but at least make the damn thing ABLE to go on verizon. those who want it will buy it, but without that option is just plain stupid and Tuulia or whatever the hell her name is should be fired without a pension. Without CDMA, windows phone is dead.
  • Without CDMA Windows Phone is dead? Seriously think about that. CDMA is only used in the US by 2 of the carriers and MVNOs that use those carriers. The entire rest of the world uses GSM. CDMA is not required to make Windows Phone successful. And remember, Microsoft isn't making the phones to make sales. They are wanting OEMs to get into the playing field here and make the phones. They expect others to make the CDMA phones, as well as more GSM phones. It's like the Surface line. Microsoft is just showing what can be done and what the OS is capable of. Now it's up to manufacturers to make products, just like they do with desktops, laptops, tablets, and 2-in-1s.  And the real reason Microsoft didn't make it CDMA compatible is because Verizon/Sprint refuse to allow Microsoft to control the updates. Windows 10 is "Windows as a Service" so if Microsoft doesn't control the updates, it's dead out the door. Microsoft just refuses to cave. Verizon and Sprint also won't allow the phones to work on their network without their approval even if they are CDMA compatible. It doesn't matter, because Sprint/Verizon will just block the phones from working anyway. Why should MS expend the money for it?  Microsoft is taking another page from Apple here. Not budging. Allowing only one or two carriers to carry it because those are the carriers willing to meet Microsoft's terms. Then, when it got popular several years later, Verizon and others wnt to Apple begging for an agreement, and that agreement was on Apple's terms. You think Windows 10 Mobile won't command that kind of respect in 3 or 4 years? I think it will. The power of these phones and what they will be capable of, especially once the Intel variety hits next year, will blow people away. It will take time, but in a few years, Verizon will be begging to carry the phones. 
  • Lol we dont need another Samsung focus scandal where their low on certain components so they substitute one brand of ram/nand for another just to get sales during the hollidays
  • There isn't hope for the people that fell victim to the T-Mobile sideshow.  Look at this guy's attitude. .@Commadore_Bob that bs theory will help @Microsoft become relevant in a space they currently aren't? #arrogant #nextfirephoneguarenteed  -John Legere
  • A major tech CEO is taking time out on twitter to address rumors about him not wanting to carry a Lumia. Microsoft needs to go ahead and put that in the "Win" column. And then Satya needs to call him directly.
  • No. Microsoft needs to put that in the "We failed to put in the effort to get carriers on board" column. This is not a victory. This is indicative of a weakness in Microsoft's strategy and execution.
  • See my comment below for my alternate theory. We don't know if Microsoft called or not. It could be John is lying and trying to save face now that there is a public demand that didn't exist for prior models (a "win" to me) or if Microsoft didn't bother to call due to a lack of prior love from T-Mobile. Either way, Microsoft will do what they normally do and allow John to save face and just let him sell the damn things and not make another comment about it.
  • We'll see what Microsoft has to say. I'm surprised Legere even said this, whether true or not. I thought he'd be the kind of guy who would proudly say he doesn't care about the minority users. So that makes me think he's telling the truth, just to clear up false accusations. But I don't really know that guy, so I can't say much. I kind of hope he is telling the truth though, that way t mobile users still have a chance.
  • William, I'm confused. If the phones are unlocked, can't you just pop in a T-Mobile SIM card and be off?  If that's so why does it matter if T-Mobile carries the phones or not?  I thought that was the beauty of a unlocked phone.
  • I read your theory below. It's quite possible. I believe this could be purely a negotiating tactic. Just say TMO wanted to purchase the phones at a better price point (to make a profit and if they don't sell well, TMO won't take as much of a loss).... and that MS & TMO couldn't agree on a price, so it the fell feel through... If that happened, with the Windows fans yelling, now is the perfect time to strike for TMO. It puts all the pressure on MS.
  • You do know it's not Microsofts fault, they can't demand carriers to sell their products Microsoft is not Apple or Samsung, they are open to anyone who wants to sell. Anyways John is an a$$**le.
  • YES!
  • Perhaps if Microsoft's previous negotiators over sold and then under achieved, repeatedly, they decided it would be best to let customers ask carriers for the product this time around.
  • I think this is PR or some stunt. This just doesn't make sense. Not beyond realm of possibilities, for certain, but it just seem right that this is how that information is presented.
  • no it's an F OFF to carriers and a win for consumers.  They don't want carriers dictating the update process likely and they know which ones will demand it.  All they need is a payment plan for the unlocked phones if they truly want to sell in volume.
  • T-Mobile has little to gain by carrying a Windows Phone however it seems Ledger understands the Windows Movement
  • I think this holds better than the other theories floating around.
  • They should let them carry it though. Posted from space
  • Check this out:http://www.microsoft.com/en/mobile/phone/lumia950-xl/specifications/
  • I can't believe you guys are falling for T-Mobile's BS, they're only concern is for you to get an iPhone for life! They won't market or even push WP. It would benefit carriers to broaden their portfolios and put effort into selling all phones to the proper user base, not just iPhones.
  • Exactly. Even though they have had more WP devices than Sprint the support they provide (marketing, store availability) is a bit worse. It's a shame because T-Mo sold me my HTC HD2 and actually pushed Winmo back then, now they regulate WP devices to online sales or somewhere on a corner wall of the store hidden among several Android devices.
  • Absolutshame hit the nail on the MF head. I've been using Windows on T-Mo since the HD-2 days and that's the last time they REALLY made an effort to push Windows. Nowadays, they stock them for a couple of weeks and then discontinue sales. You can't tell me that their $30 Alcatel Android phones that they keep in stock are better options than ANY WP
  • Obviously sales would tell you that. T-Mobile is going to push what sells. Can't blame them Microsoft put out a second rate mobile platform the last 5 years. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Exactly. I really hope that they reach an agreement (quickly) and sell both new phones,however TMO needs to probably support,market and advertise the devices. Shit is pissing off. I'm tired of carriers shoving a fuckin IPhone,Galaxy or other Android device down your throat then claim that WP doesn't sell well. If when you go there for a WP specifically the reps try to deter you. I've experienced this several times.
  • It's all on Microsoft. Microsoft has to create the hype for their phones to create demand from customers. Their effort hasn't been great.
  • Perhaps, but in the USA the sale decision is made in the store. The reality is that the sales people are bias as to what they want to sell. And they are either for the iCamp or the Galaxy Camp. I had to sell myself a Windows phone at ATT. So it's not hype, it's that the retailer's workers control what sells. How do you combat that? You sell it yourself. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • It doesnt matter if they promote them or not as long as there in stores, people that want them will seek them out. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • For blood's sake, wake up MS.
  • He's probably just saying that so he won't get the blame
  • Probably, look at the last part. "we'll talk about @tmobile carrying" means they probably have stupid demands.
  • Of course he has to hedge it. Doesn't automatically mean he has unreasonable demands. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • They are a retailer and a carrier. If other retailers start selling the phones unlocked we'll know Legere is BSing.
  • Other retailers are going to be selling them unlocked.
  • Then what he's saying is totally BS. All he has to do is order some like every other retailer.
  • lol... a CEO doesn't make purchasing orders it's the purchasing division / department.
  • Not to mention, ATT only has the 950. The exclusivity argument doesn't hold for the XL. Since MS is "allowed" to sell unlocked, I don't believe Legere.
  • I don't get your logic. Of course ms is always allowed to sell unlocked. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Actually that wasn't a given. Sometimes a carrier exclusive precludes an unlocked device from Te manufacturer.
  • Usually, exclusivity deals mean ATT is willing to take the risk selling the phones. That means Microsoft will not sell them unless they count them towards ATT's contractual cut. What is likely the case here is Microsoft simply sent out a message to the carriers asking for permission to sell them unlocked and asked if they wanted some to sell. ATT probably said yes but was unwilling to commit to the expense of an exclusivity contract. For all we know, the junior VP who took the call at T-Mobile probably told Microsoft "no" and never informed the CEO of the conversation. So from John's perspective, he never has talked to Microsoft. It could also be given T-Mobile's lack of prior enthusiasm, Microsoft never made the call.
  • Really? Them why haven't they sold every phone unlocked in the US. Typically they are very slow to do so if they do it at all. The deal often include timed exclusives, carrier specific models, carrier locking/eliminating unlocked sales in the US.
  • These phones have universal gsm radios, prior models had custom phones per carrier that was the previous method. Now, you can buy these outright and everyone else usually buy their phones outright. Unlike you guys in the US who have been heavily reliant on subsidies thus paying alot more over the course you have that phone. Only recently US carriers have started to adopt the approach that has been the norm in other countries for decades.
  • There is no exclusivity deal
  • Exactly. Of course he's going to say he's open to it. Saying the opposite just creates bad press and image for T-Mobile.
  • How much is the 950XL? Unlocked...
  • $650 + tax
  • Thanks. I'd rather pay monthly lol.......
  • Same here. It's my only option.
  • Paying the carrier monthly for the cost of the phone is a good way to pay too much, over time. Better to finance the unlocked phone separately and keep an eye on the carriers charges. That will keep costs to the minimum. Just my opinion.
  • T-Mobile USA is b% Financing for 24 months. Paymetn for Phone goes away when paid of unlike old contracts.
  • Here in the UK if you don't upgrade your monthly charge goes down, so say its £20 per month for 12 months. Don't upgrade it drops in price on month 13 and so on. Plus you could get a phone on contract, unlock it, sell it and get a cheaper phone and see out the contract.