Nokia decided to release its super-important Lumia 900 phone, which runs on Microsoft’s mobile OS, on Easter Sunday, which made it nearly impossible to buy in New York City, and elsewhere, Brian Chen at The New York Times reports.Chen says that nearly all 39 AT&T stores near Times Square in Manhattan that were selling the Lumia 900 were closed for Easter. Worse, when he called and got voicemail, the message was about visiting the AT&T store to buy an iPhone 4S.
(Even if you could find a store that was open, Easter Sunday is generally a day to be with family, not running out to buy a new phone.)
The Lumia 900 is a big deal for AT&T, Microsoft, and Nokia.
The iPhone is still the number one smartphone at AT&T by a long shot. It needs to diversify its smartphone sales so it has more negotiating leverage with Apple and other handset makers.
Nokia has gotten its butt kicked by Apple and Samsung. It’s trying to become relevant again by working with Microsoft. The Lumia 900 had gotten pretty tepid reviews, but it’s still the best Microsoft phone out there.
Microsoft has the most at stake here. It is losing its position as a dominant software company to Apple and Google as iOS and Android take over the world, marginalizing Windows. As Microsoft becomes irrelevant in mobile, over time its desktop computing is at risk of becoming irrelevant, too.
As a result of all that, the launch of the Lumia 900 was a big deal. And these guys botched it.