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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 26, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Flagship Nokia Windows phone priced at $100, arrives April 8

When big tech companies are desperate to build market share, there are deals to be had.

Like the flagship Nokia Windows Phone, the Lumia 900 with 4G LTE capability.

Today AT&T confirmed that it will begin selling the pride and joy of the Finnish phone giant for just $100, starting on April 8. At this point it looks to be far and away the best deal available on a true 4G LTE phone.

Thumbnail image for 700-lumia900_cyancombo.jpg

The latest LTE phones generally cost $200 or more. This could lead to a price war that pulls the price down toward $100.

While it lasts, consumers will benefit from Microsoft and Nokia taking a drastic step to boost the market share of their smartphones and AT&T trying to lure consumers to its fledgling LTE network.

The phone arrives midway through America’s broad adoption of smartphones. It will also be a tempting upgrade for owners of first-generation Windows Phones who want to stick with the platform.

It’s especially welcome in Redmond, where Microsoft employees have been waiting patiently for years for a Windows Phone that runs on the latest network.

The catch, though, is that AT&T still hasn’t said when it will start operating its LTE service in the greater Seattle area, even though this is the birthplace of its wireless business and home to a large AT&T engineering group. A spokeswoman said the company “expects that deployment will be largely complete across the country by the end of 2013.”

Nokia’s Lumia 900 was a star of January’s Consumer Electronics Show, but the company and its partners have said little about release dates until today.

The phone has a 4.3-inch diagonal screen, 8 megapixel camera and will come in matte blue and black initially. A white model is coming April 22, according to Nokia. Preloaded applications include Nokia Drive turn-by-turn navigation and an ESPN app.

There’s fine print, though: The $100 price is for customers signing up for new voice and data plans, which will cost at least $60 per month. There’s also a $36 activation fee per line, which brings the device cost to $136.

Also – potential AT&T Windows Phone customers may want to read Paul Thurrott’s post about how the wireless company isn’t updating earlier Windows phones, preventing customers from getting bug fixes.

Here’s the promo from AT&T:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=CuU91TU7O3s%3Frel%3D0

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