The second Windows Phone-powered Nokia phone to launch in the US will be coming to AT&T.
According to a Nokia newsletter for developers, the Nokia Lumia 900 will launch in March. The bulletin also confirms that AT&T will be the exclusive service provider in the US.
The 900’s brother, the Lumia 710, just launched in the US on T-Mobile. Nokia is hoping the price will draw customers in – it’s only $100 with a two-year service agreement, and comes with a $50 mail-in rebate to make the final effective price just $50.
There’s no word on pricing for the 900, but it is designed as a much more powerful phone. It packs in a 4.3-inch AMOLED display, a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdraggon processor, and compatibility with LTE high-speed 4G connectivity.
So it’s likely the 900 will be more expensive, but as Android phones start to break the $300 price barrier, Nokia’s strategy is no doubt to remain as the affordable smartphone solution. That’s the only way it can differentiate itself in this very dense market.
What remains to be seen is how long it will take before a Nokia Windows Phone makes its way to Verizon or Sprint. Nokia is based in Europe, where the standard known as GSM (which is what powers AT&T and T-Mobile) is much more universal than CDMA (the Sprint and Verizon standard).
Very few manufacturers with strongholds in Europe like to play with Sprint and Verizon in the US, but if Nokia truly wants to make inroads in the US again this will be a necessity.
For now, though, it’s sticking with the carriers it can work with most easily, so you can probably expect the next Nokia Windows Phone to be on AT&T or T-Mobile again before it hits one of the other two for the first time.