The hotly anticipated Nokia Lumia 900 will hit the market today (April 8th) in the United States exclusively at AT&T. The same LTE-capable phone will also drop in Canada exclusively at Rogers by April 10th (if rumour is correct).
How important is this North America launch? Very. Some commentators even see this as Nokia and Microsoft’s last chance to establish themselves as significant players in the smartphone market, as neither company has much presence or influence, and time could be running out.
Personally, I would not go as far as saying that the Lumia 900 launch in North America is the last best chance for these companies. As Nokia CEO Stephan Elop said, the first wave of Lumia devices (and that would include the 900) is meant to establish a beachhead in the smartphone market. For Nokia, the real big guns would likely be based on Windows Phone 8. For Microsoft, it is hard to imagine a total abandonment of the smartphone market without a big shift from the“3 screens and a cloud” vision.
Based on the significance of Nokia Lumia 900, the hype, and the effort from AT&T, Microsoft, and Nokia, I am confident that this new phone will further Nokia’s momentum in the strategically important US market from the soon-to-be forgotten Nokia Lumia 710 and establish that beachhead Nokia and Microsoft are seeking.
The industrial design of this phone is absolutely stunning. Without a doubt, this is the “hero” device for Windows Phone enthusiasts. But more importantly, for any smartphone shoppers, the Lumia 900 should be perceived as a tremendous bargain. At $99.99 with contract, this award-winning device offers amazing value with exclusive apps such as Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps, and Nokia Transport.
The reviews of the device were mostly good. Strangely, known Apple supporters or Microsoft haters (e.g., Joshua Topolsky and Walt Mossberg) seem to have decided that Windows Phone devices are no longer charming and full of potentials but inadequate, inferior alternatively to Android-or-iOS-based devices. Their (less than) lukewarm reviews were perhaps to be expected, but the reactions were not quite, in my humble estimation. With 2,500+ comments at the Verge’s Nokia Lumia 900 review and 2,100+ comments at Engadget’s, it was both surprising and interesting to see the current small base of Windows Phone users coming out in full force to defend their platform of choice. Some might argue that this is classic Microsoft and Nokia “astrosurfing” (which would not surprise anyone), but the thing that no one should deny anymore is that Microsoft has actually built a very compelling product that regularly pulls in great results in consumer satisfaction surveys. High level of satisfaction is the basis of a loyal-following and could very well breed fan-boys. Perhaps someday, Microsoft and Nokia could mobilize an army of passionate supporters at any given moment similar to the cult-like supporters Apple could count on at any given moment.
May the force with Nokia Lumia 900. Now check out Nicki Minaj’s Starships (Remix) from the phone’s launch event in Times Square. (Get it? New hope? Force? Starships?) 😉