Nokia's Lumia 900 smartphone will hit AT&T's store shelves on April 8, a move Nokia hopes will usher a return to the U.S. in a big way.
The phone will sell for $99.99 with a two-year contract, AT&T told CNET. It is one of the most affordable flagship products AT&T has ever sold.
There's a lot at stake with this launch. Nokia badly needs a buzz-worthy hit product in the U.S., a market it has struggled to operate in over the last few years despite dominating early in the cellphone business. AT&T hopes the 4G LTE-capable Lumia 900 will spark interest in its still new next-generation network. Microsoft, meanwhile, needs any Windows Phone to succeed in the market and establish some legitimacy to its platform.
Nokia already has a smartphone in the U.S. with the
The Lumia 900, by contrast, will come packed with some of Nokia's best hardware. The phone will have a 4.3-inch ClearBlack Amoled display, an 8-megapixel Carl Zeiss camera lens, and a higher capacity 1830 mAh battery. The phone will be available in matte black and cyan blue, while a white version will hit the market on April 22.
Customers can begin preordering the black and blue versions on March 30 in store and online.
At $99.99, the hope is the attractive price tag will be enough to turn some heads and get the device in the conversation for consumers considering a new phone. A typical flagship phone will sell initially for $200 or more.
The Lumia 900 should get a fair share of marketing support. Nokia's partnership with AT&T was one of the carrier's centerpiece announcements at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, part of a broader push for LTE products. The phone was.
With AT&T still rolling out LTE products and markets, the company will give this product a lot attention. Another planned LTE Windows Phone, the
With few indications that Verizon Wireless or Sprint Nextel are rushing to stock new Windows Phones, Nokia and Microsoft only have AT&T and T-Mobile to rely on in the near term, at least in the U.S. Elsewhere, there are signs.
But in the U.S., where Symbian never got off the ground, Nokia has a blank slate to work on.
Here's a video that AT&T made to promote the Lumia 900: