From the "what took them so long" department, AT&T has finally released availability and pricing information for the Nokia Lumia Windows 8 phones coming this fall.
Starting November 9, the Nokia Lumia 920 -- the high-end flagship Nokia phone -- will be available for $99.99 on contract. The Lumia 820 also will be available for $49.99. Both models will be available for pre-order starting tomorrow, November 7. (Thanks to The Verge for the heads up on AT&T's press release.)
AT&T also announced it will have the Windows Phone HTC 8X with 16 GB of memory for $199.99 "before Thanksgiving." The 8 GB model, which will be available in "California Blue" (more like purple) and "Limelight" (yellow) for $99.99. AT&T's press release notes that AT&T will be the "only carrier to offer this device in Limelight."
Last week, Microsoft announced availability and pricing information for other coming Windows Phone 8 devices during the Windows Phone 8 launch in San Francisco. Here's a recap of what Microsoft officials said last week:
In Europe, all of the flagships phones were supposed to be available starting this past weekend and through November.
In the U.S., Verizon will be getting the HTC 8X and the Lumia 822 (the Lumia 820 equivalent, not the 920 equivalent) as of Thanksgiving. The 8X will cost $199 for a 16 GB model for those on contract. The Lumia 822 will be $49 on contract.
Verizon also has an exclusive on the ATIV Odyssey (a variant of the ATIV S about which we currently know nothing for sure). It is due out in December 2012.
T-Mobile will have the Lumia 810 (the 820 equivalent) for $99 on contract, and the HTC 8X for $149 on contract by November 14.
AT&T has an exclusive on the Lumia 920. Microsoft and Nokia have refused to comment on how long that exclusive will last. But a leaked training video indicated it could be six months before any other U.S. carriers are allowed to offer the 920.
Microsoft officials said the company will stock all Windows Phone 8 devices in all colors in its brick-and-mortar and pop-up Microsoft Stores.
Microsoft also made the long-awaited Windows Phone 8 software development kit (SDK) available to the public last week.
Microsoft and Nokia provided all paying attendees of the Build 2012 conference with unlocked, custom-made Lumia 920 phones last week. I have not gotten to try the 920 myself (beyond holding it, tethered to a table at the Windows Phone 8 launch). But CNET has a review of the Lumia 920, where its advantages and challenges are outlined in detail. It's not a phone for wimps, given its bulk, as reviewer Jessica Dolcourt noted. She called it the most feature-rich of all the Windows Phone 8 devices. (So calm down, Nokia fans. You're getting even more rabid than Mac fans!)
I am going to post my thoughts on the HTC 8X loaner I received at the Windows Phone 8 launch soon. Let's just say this is likely to be my next phone, as I am a Verizon user.
For those who continue to ask about availability of the Windows Phone 7.8 update -- which will bring multi-sized tiles to existing Windows Phone 7.x users -- Microsoft still (crazily) is not talking about timing for this. Rumors from a variety of sites claim 7.8 will be pushed out before the end of this calendar year.