There is a simply fantastic article on CNet that details much of AT&T and Nokia’s plan for the launch of the Lumia 900 smartphone in the US market. It’s a must read if you are a fan of Windows Phone, or an observer of the mobile market.
Just to bring you up to speed: Nokia and the carrier are going all-in on the Lumia 900, betting that the phone has the chops to take center spotlight, and not squirm. At its super-low $99 price point, Nokia is giving itself a headstart, but is also not taking chances; instead, it and AT&T have between 6 and 8 weeks of promotions in place. You are going to notice them. They won’t let you not.
As a final note, this is how AT&T view the Lumia 900: “[AT&T’s] Bradley said the [Lumia 900s] combination of improved design and software, the 4G LTE service, a stronger catalog of applications, and better marketing and sales will drive higher sales.” I agree with that.
The real question is how many phones Nokia can move. There are two thing that ride on this question’s answer: the viability of Windows Phone as a mass market platform, and the rebirth of Nokia has a relevent smartphone company. No, if the Lumia 900 flops in the US, Windows Phone and Nokia are not over. But strong sales figures would do much to move both in the other direction.
After discussing with other members of TNW, I’ve come to the following metric: if the Lumia 900 sells one million handsets in its first month, we’ll consider that a strong launch. No, we’re not talking iPhone-size numbers, but given the amount of promotion the phone will receive, its low price, and its attractiveness (in our eyes), we think that the one million mark is a fair yardstick.
Nokia will have to tell the media how well the phone is selling eventually, and we hope, quickly. We will be watching the phone’s launch very carefully, as well as the chatter that follows it. April 8th is the big day. Get ready.