Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was all too eager to show off the Lumia 900 at this year’s CES, but he unfortunately kept to himself when it came to its price or release date. Now, thanks to a timely leak, it looks as though Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone could hit AT&T’s shelves on March 18.
That’s apparently the plan, anyway. The date, given to BGR by their anonymous sources, seemingly confirms earlier rumors about the device’s launch window, though they’re quick to note that the date isn’t set in stone since the 900 hasn’t yet completed the technical acceptance process.
While the release date may not come a big surprise to some of you, the Lumia 900’s price tag probably will. The device will reportedly cost a mere $99 with a two-year contract, putting Nokia’s LTE-capable flagship handset right alongside bestselling AT&T handsets like the 8GB iPhone 4. Still, its solid spec sheet — LTE radio, 4.3-inch display 1.4GHz processor, 8-megapixel camera — could provide enough impetus for buyers on the fence to take a leap on Windows Phone.
Between the dirt-cheap Lumia 710 (which can be found for free, if you’re diligent enough) and now the more-than-reasonably priced Lumia 900, Nokia is clearly aiming to sweep new and potential smartphone users off of their feet. If the leak is indeed true, it almost looks like Nokia is mirroring their aggressive European plan to push those units into people’s hands first and worry about profits later.
Could this be the right phone at the right time with the right price tag for Windows Phone to make its long-awaited splash in a crowded market? It may well be — Windows Phone is generally a joy to use, and it’s about time that people started taking a chance on it. Nokia and AT&T’s forthcoming promotional plans will do their part in making sure people hear about the Lumia 900, so here’s hoping that its time will come soon.