Nokia, AT&T and the $99.99 consumerization dream

Nokia, AT&T and the $99.99 consumerization dream

Summary: AT&T will push Nokia's high-end Windows Phone for $99.99 with a two-year contract. Is that enough to prime the consumerization pump?


Nokia and AT&T will start selling the flagship Lumia 900 on April 8 for $99.99 with a two-year contract. That's a lot of Windows Phone for the money, but it's unclear whether consumers will tote Nokia's best to work.

As noted by CNET News' Roger Cheng, Nokia and Microsoft need a hit in the U.S. AT&T will give Nokia's Lumia 900 a big push since it wants to diversify from being the iPhone carrier. Microsoft needs to get traction in the U.S. with Windows Phone. In the U.K. spot checks at Carphone revealed that Nokia is selling the Lumia line pretty well. It's no iPhone, but it's a start.

Why Nokia laid off 1,000 workers todayNew Windows Phones launch in Brazil, ChinaI am passionate about Windows Phone, just give it a tryWindows Phone: The passionless platform More from CNET:  Nokia Lumia 900 reviewNokia unveils Lumia 610 and the 900 goes globalNokia quietly establishes U.S. beachhead at T-Mobile

What's unclear is whether Microsoft and Nokia's master plan will play out. Roughly speaking, the Windows Phone plan goes like this:

  • Aggressively market Nokia's Windows Phone in the U.S.
  • Gain traction in the U.S. and Nokia has an emerging market---the Finnish giant has been a no-show in the States.
  • Microsoft, AT&T and Nokia marketing---along with a low price---will grab share.
  • These workers will tote the Nokia Lumia to work.
  • Eventually Microsoft gets its enterprise mojo back and can hook into all of its back-end goodies---Office, Exchange, SharePoint etc.

That plan, however, completely rides on the public reception to Nokia and Windows Phone, which has struggled against Apple's OS and Google's Android. We're entering a bring your own device world and Microsoft and Nokia need consumers to play along. Windows Phone is a fine mobile operating system, but it needs a groundswell. Today, there's just not a lot of glory being the first person on the block with a Nokia Windows Phone.

Should that reality change Nokia and Microsoft may just claw their way back into consumer and corporate hearts.

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Mobility, Nokia, Operating Systems, Telcos, AT&T, Windows

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  • No

    $99 isn't pocket change for some
    • If you're in the market for a new smartphone

      It's a pretty reasonable price. If you don't have $99 to spend on the phone then you probably shouldn't sign up for a $100/month contract anyway.
      • For this reason, the price of the phone is moot

        Or, at least it should be. Although people being the irrational consumers they are actually think $100 matters in the greater scheme of cell phone ownership. Keep in mind, this cost should be spread over [i]two years[/i] when thinking about the TCO, since that's the contract you'll have to sign to get the deal.
        x I'm tc
      • Exactly

        That's my point. When, on a typical ATT or VZW contract, you're looking at $2400 over the course of two years the extra $99 or $199 up front cost shouldn't be much of a factor. The only time it should really come into play is if you've left a position that provided a phone and you're starting a new job at a new place that requires you to BYOD. In which case you may not have the money to spend up front since it could be several weeks before your first real check shows up.
  • One question


    Seriously, I would pay full price for this phone if it were available on Verizon today.
    • Verizon hates WP7

      Verizon hates Windows Phone.
      Loverock Davidson-
      • Verizon hates WP7

        I have the HTC Trophy on VZW and I love the OS and network. The hardware isn't the best but the OS makes up for most of it. If the Lumia series was on VZW i'd jump on the 900 in a heart-beat! The Nokia hardware is sound and from what I hear the 900 feels very nice in the hand unlike the other smartphones on the market.
    • thurrot says

      "Microsoft has partnered fairly exclusively with AT&T on Windows Phone, and I've speculated that it is this close relationship which has kept the devices from coming quickly to Verizon. But AT&T isn't that much smaller than Verizon, and certainly there will be better Windows Phone handsets on Verizon this year."
      • I'm still doubtful

        I'll believe the comment about better WP7 handsets on Verizon this year when I actually see them.
        Loverock Davidson-
      • Thats completely false. Windows Phones are available on Verizon, Sprint,

        and T-Mobile, as well as ATT. Verizon is just completely focused on LTE now and waiting for WP to support it.
        Johnny Vegas
      • LTE

        @Johnny Vegas... Nokia 900 does support LTE. Loverock is right - Verizon does not want to support WP7.

        I suspect when Win 8 comes out all this will change though.
  • Nokia, AT&T and the $99.99 consumerization dream

    Articles like this that put a negative slant on Microsoft and Nokia aren't helping things. But to answer your question, yes people will tote the Lumia 900 to work. Look at its design, its features, and the 2 companies that made this phone possible and you have yourself a winner. People have been waiting for months for this phone and the only ones who will be sorry they didn't get it will be Verizon. A lot of people will be switching to AT&T, wait til the quarterly reports come out.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Wrong

      Why would anyone want this phone? The camera is mediocre, it has a polycarbonate body instead of a nice brushed aluminum one, etc. etc. When compared to some of the Samsung phones this phone is nothing special at all.

      This goes a bit futher and many people may not have this perspective, but I have been a longtime Nokia fan and am currently using the nokia N8. When I look at this phone I see a piece of crap! First, poor camera, poor video, poor flash, phone body not very nice, it's missing a micro SD slot, it's missing HDMI, and if you read what Apps come with it, they're crappy AT&T apps that you're charged for like AT&T navigator and AT&T radio. The one nice thing on this phone is the 1.4 ghz processor, but other phones are already using dual core and soon will be using quad core processors, so even the processor isn't that outstanding. Nokia has one major problem going forward and his name is Elop, or should I say Microsoft stooge? I like symbian, and I might be able to live with the Microsoft phone OS, but it's going to have to be a damn good phone before I even consider it and this is a non starter for me. I'm not looking to replace my phone just yet, but if I were, I would be a lot more interested in waiting for the Samsung Galaxy S III than going with this phone.
      • worst of all

        Worst of all this phone comes in a paper box! It is not wrapped in leather like it should be. Total disappointment.
      • Wow that's a lot of BS for one post.

        The build quality of the 900 is a couple orders of magnitude better than any of Samsungs cheap plastic crap. The camera far exceeds samsungs as do video and flash. The body in particular is easily 100X better. You do not get charged for any ATT preinstalled apps and you can uninstall any or all of them. It comes with Bing maps/directions so you dont need navigator. Nokia also has it's own outstanding Drive app. The processor point is complete crap because the os runs 100X better on that 1.4G processor that android does on any dual or even quad core. Even on the old 800M chips it out performs dual/quad core android phones. Theres a reason this phone won all the awards at this years Consumer Electronics Show and then again at Mobile World Congress. Nokia has a winner here and made the right choice in going with Windows Phone over android. Windows phone is more secure and more reliable. Is has already vaulted to #1 in mobile os quality and equaled or surpassed ios and android on all fronts. Now it's set for it's fall update to widen the gap in several significant areas and really become the best choice for enterprise and government as well as consumers.
        Johnny Vegas
      • Have you actually used a Nokia phone before ?

        Your BS is total crap. Go use a Nokia phone and rewrite your review. Samsung phones are cheap and feels like plastic. I dropped my samsung focus by mistake a few months back and it died, I was asked $200 for just fixing it. How do you even know about the camera quality ? have you even used it ? You seem to have joined anti-MS boat and don't know what direction are you heading. Wake up and do some homework again. If you want, you can check Lumia 800 in Microsoft store, if there is one near you.
      • Camera

        The camera that takes 8 MP pictures and 1080 HD video is mediocre?

        We all have our own needs, but when I look at pictures taken by the Lumia 900 ( I can tell that it's good enough for me. Your mileage may vary.
      • Correct: absolutely wrong!

        This is a mediocre phone.
        Touted as if it were a flagship phone.
        Software is WP, lagging behind the leaders (iPhone & Android).
        Switch apps, and sometimes they crash or freeze (fake multitasking).
        Time to lift this marketing fog.
  • April 8th.. The same Dream as March 18th. aka The Nokia Vaproware Dream

    Lumina Vaporware.. The 18th came and went and No Lumina 900 from Nokia... Just another way to tick off potential customers and loose market.
    Several commercial entities are reported to have waited until March 18th and when the phone did not produce itself, (Surprise.. Isn???t this how Nokia blew it sales several years ago with other vaporphones) have re-up'd their two year contracts with different models. Leaking a date to hype up marketing and failing to follow through with that date is the best way to lose loyalty and potential customers. You would have thought Nokia would have learned its lesson by now but obviously it did not.... Now all these geeks *me included) that had to have a new phone and held out with superglue, duct tape, or older models snagged up from ebay as temp devices were left with no other choice but to re-up their contracts with different phones. Way to lose customer loyalty and a potential comeback in to the market Nokia.... Fail. SO Nokia, at the least before you cause yourself more damage and humiliation, push an official press release to announce launch date before you push away more potential customers..
    What should have been your reclaim to fame is not in the IT world being looked at as how will Nokia handle this damage control from this new disaster???.
    The glory is over, and the vaporware phone damage for the phone that did not release on reported dates falters and damage control begins??? Nokia, listen, You have completely turned off a large group of potential customers, and the longer you hold private, the real release date (if there is even a Lumina 900 to be sold, who knows at this point) the more customers and potential buyers you will lose???..
    Not following through with touted release dates, does not make smartphone users WANT to wait longer. It makes them resentful and makes them want to immediately switch product brands.. Apparently Nokia still hasn???t figured that out???
    • sad but true

      I love Nokia phones, and it completely buffles me why Nokia does so poorly in US. When I bought my last Nokia feature phone in 2009 at Verizon, they were only available online, and they have been repeatedly sold off. I had to hunt for Nokia feature phone for several weeks to catch a moment when they were available. They were flying off the shelves. Then, a couple months later, when my relative wanted to buy it, Verizon stopped carrying Nokia.

      It seems that Nokia actually wanted to get out of US market. Why??? And now it wants to come back, but is it sincere?