Sunday, April 08, 2012

Nokia Lumia 900 launch day diminished as most stores closed on Easter Sunday

AT&T promised that the Nokia Lumia 900 launch, scheduled for April 8, would be its biggest ever, surpassing even the iPhone. It's hard to have the biggest launch ever when most of your stores are closed.

Curiously, AT&T and Nokia chose April 8, or Easter Sunday, for Nokia's effective re-entry into the U.S. market (although there was, of course, the Nokia Lumia 710 on T-Mobile). Anyone who's tried to find a store open on Easter Sunday can tell you many are closed.

What's worse, if you really want a Nokia Lumia 900, you can't even rest assured that all the stores are closed. There is no "all stores closed" policy for Microsoft or AT&T stores, so those anxious to get a device would have to call around to see if a store is or is not open, a frustrating exercise.

As if that's not bad enough, the New York Times reported that although not all of the 39 AT&T stores within walking distance of Times Square were closed, the few that were open and answered their phones did not have the handset in stock.

The scorecard: 18 stores played an automated message saying they were closed for Easter, 19 stores that were authorized AT&T resellers did not answer the phone, and two AT&T resellers that were open said they did not have the Lumia 900 yet.

It's a sad beginning to AT&T's biggest launch ever.

Also, those that played the automated message played a short audio ad for the iPhone 4S, with no mention of the Lumia 900. “Visit our store to see the exciting iPhone 4S and how only AT&T’s network lets your iPhone 4S download three times faster."

Online, at least, the Lumia 900 seems to be doing well. At Amazon's Wireless Store, the Lumia 900 is listed as 9th on the store's bestsellers list.

AT&T typically launches non-iPhone phones on Sunday. Perhaps this device should have launched last Sunday, or next Sunday (although next Sunday is among the last few days before U.S. income taxes are due, and possibly not a good day either).

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