With Nokia’s and Microsoft’s huge push behind Windows Phone in the U.S. market to be the third horse in a three-horse race against Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platform, AT&T appears to be on board with the debut of the Lumia 900. The Lumia 900 has a 4.3-inch display and will be one of two Windows Phone devices to debut with 4G LTE support and was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year and recently announced with an April 8th launch date. AT&T’s Jeff Bradley says that the Lumia 900 will be the carrier’s largest launch event and speculation has it that AT&T is spending up to $200 million to advertise the phone.
For consumers, the blitzkrieg will begin right around when the phone launches on April 8. AT&T and Nokia are readying a massive television marketing campaign to raise consumer awareness. The Lumia 900 will be the centerpiece at AT&T stores, with massive signs and posters promoting the device. Nokia and AT&T spent considerable time training store reps, and a majority of them will be carrying one with them at all times. The phone will launch with a number of accessories, which Bradley said sends an indirect message to consumers that the device is unique and important enough to get significant support.
AT&T and Nokia are pushing for a 6-week campaign to build brand awareness around the device.
The large scale launch event would see the Lumia 900 surpass the investment made by AT&T for any iPhone launch thus far, showing a huge commitment to Microsoft’s platform and Nokia’s strong industrial design, which had won the company numerous awards, including GottaBeMobile’s Best of Show, at CES.
It’s unclear if Microsoft will be able to make in-roads and gain market share with the aggressive launch. Not only will the device be heavily advertised and marketed, Nokia and AT&T is pricing the high-end smartphone at an aggressive $99 with a two-year contract, which is half of what the rival 4G LTE-enabled HTC Titan II will cost with the same two-year contract.
While the launch of Apple’s original iPhone in 2007 was a heavily hyped and much anticipated launch, it’s unclear if Nokia, Windows Phone, and Microsoft have the same level of hype in the U.S. market. And it’s unclear if the future and other Windows Phone handsets in the U.S. launching on other carriers will receive the same type of backing that AT&T is providing for Nokia. AT&T, which has historically been favorable to Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, is saying that the launch will essentially be re-launch of the Nokia brand in the U.S.