The Nokia Lumia 900 is now ready for pre-orders from Microsoft's retail stores in the US. The much anticipated Windows Phone will be an AT&T exclusive, resembling an over-sized version of the elegant Lumia 800. The device is expected to launch on March 18, although the date hasn't been officially confirmed yet.
Over the last year when it came to Windows Phone, we saw a lovely looking user interface fall victim to less than stellar engagement and interest on the part of the public - Stephen Elop this week says that it's the work of the salesmen, not the manufacturer, to make the final drop of the device into the hands on the consumer. Without a doubt there's a certain flair to the Lumia line of smartphones being released both here in the USA and abroad this year, but without the folks in the stores actually pointing people to the hands-on equipment, there's certainly no chance of a big hit in the engagement environment. Elop let the world know in Nokia's sales call what he expects from store employees in the very near future.
$1.25 billion in losses would normally be a pretty dire way to end a quarter, but Nokia managed to muster just enough sugar for lemonade with more than a million sales of its first two Windows Phone handsets. After months of "we'll launch by the end of the year" promises, Elop & Co. came through with not one but two smartphones based on Microsoft's OS, turning that duo into a trio at CES 2012 earlier this month. As foundations go it's a solid start, but make no mistake: it only gets tougher from here.
Nokia has announced its Q4 2011 financial results, and the big news is Windows Phone sales: "well over 1 million Lumia devices to date" the Finnish company claims. Still, strong out-the-gate demand for the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 weren't enough to turn Nokia's ailing books around: the company recorded a €954m ($1.25bn) profit loss in Q4 2011, bringing the final 2011 tally to a €1.073bn ($1.4bn) loss, down 43-percent year-on-year.
AT&T recently announced several new devices at CES 2012, and now more details have emerged on pricing and launch dates. According to BGR, the carrier will be releasing two Windows Phone handsets with the Nokia Lumia 900 and the HTC Titan II, which we've spent some hands-on time with before. The company will also be releasing several Android devices, including the Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD, Samsung Exhilirate, Sony Xperia Ion, and a yet to be announced Sony Crystal tablet.
Nokia and AT&T will offer the Lumia 900 for just $99.99 with a new, two-year agreement when the Windows Phone lands in mid-March, according to the latest roadmap leak, an ambitious price to get the device into as many consumers' pockets as possible. The AT&T Lumia 900 will undercut most new Android devices - and indeed the iPhone 4S - by half, according to BGR's insider, with a release date of March 18.
The AT&T exclusive Nokia Lumia 900 was rumored to be heading to the UK sans LTE sometime in June, but now a new claim by mobile insider Eldar Murtazin suggests that it could be replaced by a new model called the Nokia Lumia 910. Murtazin claims that this model has an upgraded camera and is set to hit Europe in May.
UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has yanked a pre-registration page for the launch of the Nokia Lumia 900, indicating the 4.3-inch Windows Phone will go on sale in non-LTE form come June 2012. Beyond the lack of LTE, the Lumia 900 details - previously found here but now only a memory in Google's cache - were identical to the AT&T model announced earlier this month, with an 8-megapixel camera along with a front-facing camera for video calls.
A shortage of rival flagships and ambitious promotional work could have seen Nokia sell 1.3m Lumia Windows Phones in 2011, according to analyst averages, though the MeeGo-powered N9 could still have outsold its Microsoft-running siblings. Bloomberg took sales estimates from 22 analysts surveyed around Nokia's Windows Phone launch, with figures ranging from as many as 2m down to just 800,000. However, the estimates are over sales into the retail channel, and don't necessarily mean that many of Nokia's devices have ended up in users' pockets or bags.
All the way over the pond in the UK there's pressure being pushed down on Nokia to lower the price of the Lumia line, specifically the Lumia 710 which launches there in the next few weeks, as its first devices with Windows Phone have, perhaps, not performed as well as they'd liked. This could be seen as the exact opposite of what we've seen with Apple and their ultra high command over carriers working with the iPhone since its inception. Nokia has held more than a few discussions with UK operators on what it'll do with the Lumia 710 as is launches in the market there, this perhaps reflecting what's happened in the USA.