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Lumia-650-gallery2-jpgMicrosoft will “end sales” of its lineup of Lumia smartphones in December, according to a report from WinBeta.

Citing an anonymous source, WinBeta reports that several recent actions indicate a move toward halting production of Lumia phones. Microsoft has deeply cut prices for Lumia phones and de-emphasized them both online and in its brick-and-mortar stores.

Microsoft has been aggressively pulling back from the smartphone hardware business after its $7 billion acquisition of Nokia’s smartphone division did not live up to expectations. Before announcing the elimination of 1,850 jobs in May, Microsoft had already cut a total of more than 19,000 jobs associated with the Nokia acquisition. Microsoft announced it would cut another 2,850 jobs — from its smartphone and sales divisions — in July.

The end of Lumia devices could be an indication that Microsoft is pushing ahead with its heavily rumored Surface-branded phone. A Surface all-in-one device is rumored to be announced at a possible hardware event in October, and WinBeta and other outlets are reporting that a Surface phone announcement could come at the same time or possibly at some point in 2017.

We’ve reached out to Microsoft for comment and will update this post when we hear back.

Adding even more fuel to the speculation, Laura Butler, a Microsoft engineering director, dropped hints about the Surface phone in a pair of now-deleted tweets last week that read: “Surface iPhone. ;-)” and “Surface Phone not NOT confirmed. :-)” in response to questions.

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