updated 01:20 pm EDT, Wed March 28, 2012
ATT hopes Lumia 900 will win through blitz
AT&T through both official and off-the-record conversation on Wednesday promised that its upcoming launch of the Nokia Lumia 900 would be its largest ever. Devices lead Jeff Bradley told CNET that the April 8 debut would be a "notch above anything we've ever done" and explicitly included the iPhone in this point of view. A major TV ad blitz, extensive staff training, accessories, and personal staff ownership would make it clear the Windows Phone was its "hero" phone, or the device it was rallying behind for the season.
Among the more specific tactics would be finding equivalents for Windows Phone apps for those on Android on iPhones. The full campaign would reportedly last six to eight weeks, an insider said. It's already known to be costing $100 on contract, or half as much as an iPhone or some other flagship phones.
Bradley wasn't concerned about Windows Phone's low market share or for the modest success of the first Nokia-made Windows Phone in the US, the Lumia 710. Having 4G, a better design, and heavier marketing would be enough to make the difference, he argued.
The major emphasis on the Lumia 900 reflects the importance that AT&T, Microsoft, and Nokia all are putting on the one Windows Phone's success. AT&T has been eager to reduce its dependency on the iPhone and still sees Android form a minority of its smartphone sales. Both Microsoft and Nokia have seen their products fall out of use in the US and would be eager to get recognition once again with a clear American flagship demand.
Historically, AT&T and Microsoft efforts to market Windows Phone haven't produced results. Microsoft committed $500 million worldwide to marketing the fall 2010 launch of Windows Phone, but has seen its share almost uniformly slide in the more than a year since. Meeting iPhone-level launch demand could be extremely difficult given that AT&T activated one million iPhones in five days last fall.