updated 12:55 pm EDT, Mon April 9, 2012
ATT and Microsoft ramp post-launch Lumia efforts
AT&T has earmarked as much as $150 million for promoting the Lumia 900 launch, insiders claimed Monday. An Ad Age leak had AT&T going beyond conservative estimates depending on conditions. AT&T declined to comment on the assertion, although it has publicly promised a major ad campaign with TV ads and other promos in effect.
Some of Microsoft's own marketing swung into place the same day with a new campaign. Locations such as Chicago's Pioneer Court, New York City's Bryant Park, and San Francisco's Union Square now have "Free-Time Machines" meant to show how Windows Phone can allow for more leisure. Each location will have matching "Engineers" that can potentially save the user time, such as waiting in line at a restaurant or a mass transit queue.
Special prizes will give access to celebrity help, such as Chicago chef Stephanie Izard, fashion and shopping help from Kourtney Kardashian's boutique DASH, and personal help from San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis. The locations should be active immediately.
The combination, along with Nokia's own campaign, shows the deep ties between AT&T, Nokia, and Microsoft to drive the Lumia 900's sales. All three of them consider the 4G flagship a make-or-break for proving an alternative to Android or the iPhone. The Google and Apple platforms together have 80 percent of US smartphones and so far have been leading towards an OS duopoly that would render Microsoft and Nokia irrelevant and give AT&T less negotiating power. [image via Kasey at Nokia]