AT&T has said that the recent launch of the Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone will be its biggest smartphone launch ever. The carrier is promoting the phone heavily with ads in stores and its website, and Nokia and Microsoft have spent a lot of money in advertising. However, it seems AT&T employees didn’t get the message.
CNET went to five AT&T stores in Manhattan and found that none of the employees in the stores recommended the Lumia 900. The same story was true in all but one AT&T store that CNET visited in Massachusetts.
In most cases, employees pointed the CNET reporter to the iPhone instead of the flagship Windows Phone device. One employee even said “Windows Phone is alright, but it’s no iPhone.”
Other stores pointed the reporters to Android phones like the gigantic Samsung Galaxy Note.
Keep in mind that AT&T has 2,200 stores so this doesn’t mean all retail employees are recommending the iPhone over the Lumia 900. It is worth mentioning, however, that Microsoft and Nokia are making a big push for Windows Phone in New York City.
Despite the big push behind the phone, including giving it out to some employees, some users are still being steered away from the Lumia 900. Not even spokespeople that Nokia hired to perform in Times Square will use the phone.
The Lumia 900 is still selling well online, but with a $99.99 smartphone that’s essentially free for the first few weeks, Nokia and Microsoft need retail employees to recommend the phone.
The Lumia 900’s best shot at market share is users who aren’t already entrenched in the Android or iOS ecosystems, people who have never used a smartphone before.
With its low price and beautiful hardware the Lumia 900 is attractive to first-time smartphone users, but it faces still competition from the $99 iPhone 4.
Without retail employees recommending the phone, that $99 iPhone 4, free iPhone 3GS, or any of the inexpensive Android phones will likely sell more than the high-end Windows Phone.