updated 09:30 am EDT, Mon March 26, 2012
Nokia Lumia 900 gets very low starter price
AT&T confirmed launch details for the Nokia Lumia 900 on Monday that show Microsoft and Nokia determined to carve out share for Windows Phone in the US. The first 4G Windows Phone should go on sale on April 8 for just $100 on a contract. The deal makes the Lumia 900 one of the cheapest new LTE phones ever and one of the cheapest high-end devices.
The 900 is an upsized and overall improved version of the Lumia 800 with a 4.3-inch, non-Pentile AMOLED screen, LTE, and a front camera added to the existing formula. Both share an eight-megapixel f2.2 rear camera and 16GB of built-in space.
Previously nicknamed the Ace, the Nokia range leader is believed to be getting rare flagship treatment from AT&T, of the kind close only to that given to the iPhone. Nokia and Microsoft were rumored to be giving at least $100 million to marketing towards the effort. AT&T, by comparison, devoted relatively little promotion to the first round of Windows Phone 7.5 devices from HTC and Samsung in the fall.
Given the existence of normally expensive LTE, it's suspected that the Lumia 900 is being more heavily subsidized than usual in a bid to grab market share. Windows Phone has dropped to 4.4 percent share in the US and 1.5 percent worldwide, while Nokia already has virtually no presence in the US and is declining on the world stage. Both were slow to respond to the iPhone and later Android.
Nokia struck its Windows Phone deal in early 2011, shortly after its then-recent CEO Stephen Elop said his company was standing on a "burning platform" and had to switch platforms to have any hope of competing with Apple.