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AT&T may not have been kidding when they said this launch would beat the iPhone; key driver is "free" price

I joined the pre-order fest of Nokia Oyj.'s (HEL:NOK1V) Lumia 900 over the weekend.  I preordered Saturday, not long after the preorder -- and $100 off -- deal went live.

Sadly! I received the following email later that day from AT&T:

The items in your order are currently out of stock and will be shipped when inventory becomes available. When the items in your order ship, we'll send you an email with the ship tracking number(s).

Now I'm assuming that Nokia and its U.S. carrier partner, AT&T, Inc. (T), has a large stock of Lumia 900s, given that they've had months to prepare, and that they're saying this launch will be bigger than any iPhone launch to date.

Operating under this assumption, the sold out status indicates that the demand for the Lumia 900 is very high -- likely in the millions of units.  Looks like Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) big investment in Nokia is finally paying dividends.  This should be a big boost to Windows Phone's market share.

If the above hypothesis is correct, AT&T might not have been kidding when they said this would be there biggest smartphone launch ever.  For myself and fellow wait-listed preorder customers, it's a bit disappointing, but I'm hopeful it will be worth the wait.  

I will update you with an article about my impressions on the phone and discussing the experience of switching from Android to Windows Phone, when I receive my unit.

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Driving force
By chµck on 4/4/2012 11:20:35 AM , Rating: 3
While this is great new, as a nokia fan, it just goes to show that technology doesn't matter. The sales reps are the ones who decide which phone(s) sell.

RE: Driving force
By tayb on 4/4/2012 11:40:47 AM , Rating: 2
So true. The vast majority of consumers have no idea what phone they want and accept the sales reps recommendation without question. If the reps say get a Windows Phone most people will just get a Windows Phone.

RE: Driving force
By daveinternets on 4/4/2012 12:20:58 PM , Rating: 3
This is too true. Last December I walked into the AT&T store with my 3Gs looking to get a Titan. When I told the sales rep I wanted to get the HTC Titan, he looked at me funny and said: "Why?" That was pretty telling.

RE: Driving force
By WalksTheWalk on 4/4/2012 12:50:27 PM , Rating: 2
There is big hype in the tech community and Microsoft faithful over this phone since it's been billed as the premier Windows Phone device.

I think it's just a lot of tech enthusiasts wanting to see what MS and Nokia have done with this one.

RE: Driving force
By koenshaku on 4/5/2012 10:14:25 AM , Rating: 2
Marketing hasn't even started for this device yet. That is a scripted message you receive from ATT when your device is not available thus this one not being on the market yet. I don't think it is any indication of the device actually being sold out.

RE: Driving force
By Reclaimer77 on 4/4/12, Rating: -1
RE: Driving force
By Smilin on 4/4/2012 3:06:20 PM , Rating: 2
No actually "it's all the sales reps fault" was last months excuse...and it was true.

This month the sales rep is on board and look what happens...they sell out.

If you look in the distance behind you then might make out the vapor trail of what his point was.

RE: Driving force
By Reclaimer77 on 4/4/12, Rating: -1
RE: Driving force
By chµck on 4/4/2012 3:43:22 PM , Rating: 2
Well technically, the sales reps didn't magically decide to push this phone, the at&t ceo did, or did you miss that article?

RE: Driving force
By Smilin on 4/5/2012 9:24:52 AM , Rating: 2

RE: Driving force
By Smilin on 4/5/2012 9:24:22 AM , Rating: 3
Don't confuse advertising and marketting. Nokia was not the first to advertise.

Marketting includes having sales reps push the phone. Go call sprint and ask them about a Windows Phone right now. The person you speak with will come around to, "...but we have an iPhone....there is a special on iPhones...blah blah iphone"

Now walk into a Verizon store and ask about a Windows Phone. You'll get "talked into" an Android. AT&T was the same last month.

This month if you go into an AT&T store asking about an iPhone they'll show you a Nokia.

You haven't been proved right for Shat. Especially since you're arguing against your own point. The Nokia is still single core with crappy resolution right?

RE: Driving force
By maven81 on 4/4/2012 3:15:36 PM , Rating: 2
There are phones out there with higher resolution then the iphone, yet the iphone still sells better. Same goes with faster processors, larger screens etc. The technology in this case is the OS.

RE: Driving force
By JasonMick on 4/4/2012 3:28:16 PM , Rating: 3
Technology? This phone boasts modest technology and a screen resolution that was outdated a year ago. I'm not sure how you can say technology doesn't matter here.

The GPU and screen resolution are a bit on the light side, but one thing you are forgetting is that the vast majority of apps played by people -- including games -- underutilize the most powerful of smartphone GPUs. Even for the iPhone, maintain compatibility with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 is a key goal of game devs, hence HD versions while becoming more common are still somewhat rare -- likewise for Android.

The thing has a great looking camera, on the other hand. I'd rather trade playing apps in 800x480 (vs. 960x640 on iPhone) with a great camera versus being able to play ever-so-slightly higher-res. apps with a less capable camera. Camera is one of my most use cellphone apps, so I'm looking forward to the Zeiss lens.

To each their own, I suppose.

Windows Phone fanboys looking for scapegoats, this month it's all the sales reps fault, is getting tiresome.
No there's truth in this argument and it's not the sales reps' fault -- it's Microsoft's fault for not pushing the industry standard commissions that Android and Apple were handing out. As a result reps had no cause to push Windows Phones (I experienced this in an anecdotal context in several visits to AT&T).

Another problem for Microsoft was the low volume of most WP7 led many handset vendors to not put much focus on their firmware. I expect firmware on Nokia's handsets to be much better in the long run.

Expect some early struggles, but when you're selling millions of Windows Phones, you're going to focus on good Windows Phone firmware. If you're selling thousands of Windows Phones and millions of Androids, your focus will obviously be on the Android firmware.

The problem here is that Microsoft waited too late. They waited until Apple and Android were nearing critical mass to get a phone like this to the market. It's that simple.
Who knows? I've used Android and I like it, but I'm not IN LOVE with it. Likewise I can appreciate the quality of Apple's core apps, lawsuits aside, but am not wowed by their UI.

I think WP7/8 still have a great shot, given the amount of money that Microsoft is willing to push into the pit, and given that Nokia is finally giving them attractive Windows Phone handsets.

Can Nokia+Microsoft = Apple? Who knows... but I would expect Windows Phone's market share to grow, and become a strong third player.

RE: Driving force
By chµck on 4/4/2012 3:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know why you're arguing like I said the lumia 900 was the most technologically advanced phone.
What my point was, was that even though this phone only has a single core processor, only 800x480 screen, it sold out because at&t pushed it so hard.
I'm sure if the cell carriers wanted to, they could bring back flip phones.

RE: Driving force
By maven81 on 4/4/2012 4:07:07 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, if this phone had an apple logo, and was marketed using the words "revolutionary" and phrases like "the world's most advanced smart phone operating system" it would sell 5 million units, easy.

RE: Driving force
By HackSacken on 4/4/2012 5:32:57 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not saying WP7's lack of success is completely due to sales reps. However, when my wife chose to purchase her HTC HD7, the rep discouraged the thought and tried to sway her elsewhere. My HTC Radar purchase the rep stated "you're ballsy" and my brother just mentioned this week (he was looking for a Radar as he likes mine) that the rep asked him, "Why? You should get an Android phone."

RE: Driving force
By Reclaimer77 on 4/4/12, Rating: -1
RE: Driving force
By Trisped on 4/4/2012 7:29:20 PM , Rating: 3
I'm telling you Microsoft did this to me with the Zune. Great platform, dwarfed in sales by Apple's iPod. So what did MS do? They just bailed on the entire thing.
Microsoft bailed on a lot of projects at the time. That being said, they supported the Zune for years after they failed to make it a success.

I would not worry too much about support for WP7. You will receive support from Microsoft for years (just like Zune had) even if you have to hack past your cell carrier to get it. Also, Microsoft NEEDS a working and popular OS for PDA/Smart Phone devices. As more and more people buy smart phones and tablets, the use of desktops and laptops is going to diminish. If Microsoft wants to stay relevant it needs to be in the mobile space.

That being said, in a lot of ways the smart phone market is the bleeding edge. The odds are you will get cut at least once by someone, probably multiple times and by different entities. Hooray for early adoption! Now if we could only get the dinks and yuppies out of the way...

RE: Driving force
By Iketh on 4/4/2012 7:47:48 PM , Rating: 2
The emotions you have from past experiences with Microsoft are obscuring your logic here. Microsoft most definitely can NOT fail to get their OS going in smartphones... you are absolutely CRAZY if you think Microsoft will abandon this market... in fact, you're just flat out stupid.

If they fail, you better believe they will try again, and again, until they are bankrupt, because that's what'll happen anyway if they do nothing at all...

I dub thee Mr. Emotional.

RE: Driving force
By Reclaimer77 on 4/4/2012 9:27:02 PM , Rating: 2
Look however you want to put it, whatever Microsoft is doing with the platform, it's just not working.

Now if you want to buy into a non-competitive smartphone solution while there are at least two better options on the market, be my guest. I'll dub YOU flat out stupid too :)

RE: Driving force
By Iketh on 4/4/2012 11:09:29 PM , Rating: 2
I have both Android and WP7, and my first smartphone was the 3GS. WP7 is by far the best, and the Android is getting replaced as soon as att allows it.

RE: Driving force
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/2012 8:05:11 AM , Rating: 2
That is a matter of opinion. And opinion of yours that very few people obviously share.

RE: Driving force
By DFranch on 4/5/2012 12:36:00 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't make it any less true. My brother just got an iphone 4s. He was trying to use Siri, and it would either misunderstand him, or return useless results. I did the same on my focus, and it worked every time. Just navigating around the screens, opening and closing apps wasn't as good as my Focus S, I wouldn't trade with him for money. I have to admit the 4/4S is a beautiful phone. Too bad every one I've ever seen is in a case. With the case it's almost the same size as my focus s and twice as thick (but it still only has a 3.5" screen). I wonder what would possess everybody to put such a beautiful phone in a plastic case? Oh right because some genius decided to encase it in glass. I love WP7, and can't wait until WP8 is released.

RE: Driving force
By Tequilasunriser on 4/5/2012 1:17:13 AM , Rating: 2
You have to give it time.

As of right now, sure, WP7 is nothing too impressive.

Their next update, Apollo, is supposed to be huge though. They are allowing multi-core processors, bumps to ram, multiple resolutions (including HD resolutions), and better Micro SD card support.

I would imagine the software update will be just as impressive.

WP8 is also likely going to have strong integration with Windows 8. Being that most of us use Windows PCs, I'd say that a strong synergy between one's mobile and desktop operating systems is going to be a huge convenience.

RE: Driving force
By Smilin on 4/5/2012 9:32:27 AM , Rating: 2
Look however you want to put it, whatever Microsoft is doing with the platform, it's just not working.

Your shirt is all wrinkly because it gets no irony either.

Have you noticed what the topic of the article is that you just posted this to? Why hasn't WP gone the way of RIM? Why hasn't it gone the way of Web OS? Why has it's app store grown to 80,000 apps in just a few months (wasn't it just 70k last month?)

Beware underestimating a determined Microsoft...and go iron your !@#$ shirt, chump.

RE: Driving force
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/2012 4:32:37 PM , Rating: 2
Why hasn't WP gone the way of RIM?

Uhh even in it's current state, RIM has about six times more market share as WP. WAY more people are using RIM than have ever used a Windows Phone. Not a really good example.

And I'm not hating on Microsoft. I've always respected them and favored them in arguments. I am however disappointing in their smart phone product at this time. Too little, too late, too slowly.

RE: Driving force
By Trisped on 4/4/2012 7:15:30 PM , Rating: 2
The Luma 900 has not yet gone on sale, so it is not the sales reps who caused the sell out, it is AT&T's website which allowed pre-orders of the phone for free (with new contract).

Technology is relative to the price point, I will take a low tech phone for "free" if it does what I want and is dependable. That is why I still have my "free" flip phone (without qwerty) even though everyone else I know has a smart phone.

RE: Driving force
By DrChemist on 4/5/2012 1:20:36 PM , Rating: 2
It is definitely sales reps. Microsoft never gave commission extras for any of their phones prior (not sure for the Nokia Lumia 900) that's why every sales person tries to sell you the others and down play WP7. In fact, most of them tried to tell me how crap WP7 was and kept telling me old stuff from Windows mobile and had no idea about WP. If you knew every droid or iPhone you sold gave you $10 would you try to sell someone a Windows phone. Probably not.

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