Nokia held a huge launch party for the Lumia 900 in NYC’s Times Square on Friday night. But when it came time for the phone’s release on Sunday it was hard to find the handset anywhere near where the celebration was.
According to New York Times writer Brian Chen, nearly all 39 AT&T stores located near Times Square were either closed for Easter Sunday, or did not answer phone calls when he called to inquire about the handset’s availability. The stores that were closed also played an automated message that advertised the availability of the iPhone 4S — but didn’t mention the Nokia Lumia 900′s existence.
The Lumia 900 handset runs on AT&T’s super-fast LTE network. The HTC Titan II is currently the only other Windows Phone smartphone that is capable of doing the same.
The $99 Lumia 900 is Nokia and Microsoft’s best horse in the smartphone race, and both companies have a lot riding on its success. iPhone and Android have a stronghold in the smartphone market in the United States, and both companies need a winner to put both Nokia and Windows Phone on the map stateside.
Prior to its launch, AT&T said that the Lumia 900 would be “one of its biggest launches ever”. Advertising for the handset has likened it to the iPhone, and Nokia even launched a nationwide ad campaign called “smartphonbetatest” — implying that the all other smartphones prior to the launch of the 900 were just beta versions.
The smartphonebetatest site counted down to zero when the phone was supposed to be revealed. But the ultimate effect of it was somewhat dampened. The clock hit zero at least three times Friday evening, then added an arbitrary amount of time.
Launch day woes don’t seem to have affected Nokia’s sales of the Lumia 900, however. The phone was available for pre-order before Sunday, and made its way into the hands of customers over the weekend. The handset is also currently the top selling phone on Amazon (taking both the #1 and #2 slots), a coveted title definitely worth getting excited about.
What do you think about the Lumia 900 launch? Do you think Nokia, Microsoft, or AT&T should have made a bigger deal about it on Sunday, or was offering pre-orders for the phone enough? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.