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Instant Analysis: Can Microsoft Corporation's Latest Smartphone Move The Needle?

By Tim Brugger - Feb 17, 2016 at 12:50PM

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The cloud king introduces its latest, and perhaps last, Lumia smartphone for the enterprise.

What happened?
Rumors have been swirling for some time that Microsoft's (MSFT 0.53%) latest -- and some say last -- Lumia smartphone was in the works and nearly ready for consumers. Turns out those rumors were true. Microsoft recently unveiled its $199 Lumia 650 designed to integrate "seamlessly with your company's Microsoft IT platforms."

The Lumia 650 is equipped with a five-inch screen, eight-megapixel camera, and eight gigabytes (GB) of storage, which can be expanded to as much as 200 GB. For its targeted business users, the Lumia 650 comes with a one-click feature to set up its Office 365 product suite.

Microsoft is billing the new smartphone as a "mobile office," synchronized across Windows OS devices via OneDrive.

Does it matter?
Microsoft sold just 4.5 million Lumia's in calendar Q4 -- compared to 10.5 million devices from a year-ago -- leading to a 49% drop in phone revenue.

The Lumia 650's low price point translates to razor thin margins, assuming it becomes profitable at all. But the Lumia 650 and its brethren are in line with Satya Nadella's "mobile-first" strategy of getting Windows into as many hands as possible, regardless of device. Presumably, Microsoft's enterprise customers will generate revenue via additional subscription fees and boosting Bing's search ad sales, to name but a couple possibilities.

On its own merits, Microsoft's rumored last Lumia smartphone isn't likely to move the needle much. However, like others of its ilk, the Lumia 650 is a small cog in Nadella's larger mobile machine.

Tim Brugger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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