Before the Nokia Lumia 900 ever made it to AT&T, we had heard that the carrier was planning to spend somewhere around $150M to promote this first Windows Phone LTE handset. We’ve since learned that the actual amount AT&T is putting into Lumia 900 marketing is quite a bit lower, but is it still managing to effectively stir-up interest in the phone? Based on a recent report, it seems that AT&T may be making at least one misstep in its promotion and sales chains, and it’s one that could seek to undermine much of the impact of the carrier’s advertising efforts.
When we learned last month about AT&T’s plans to get the Lumia 900 into the hands of as many of its retail employees as possible, we were optimistic towards the phone’s prospects; after all, what better way to get customers excited about phones than to have the people selling them be passionate users themselves? CNET was interested in seeing just what attitude AT&T employees actually have towards the Lumia 900, and recently stopped-by several of the carrier’s stores to see how the phones were being sold.
Admittedly, this is hardly a scientific study, but based on the several Manhattan AT&T stores CNET visited, employees are steering customers away from Windows Phone and the 900, and over to the iPhone. Even when customers express specific interest in the platform, they’re being told things like, “Windows Phone is alright, but it’s no iPhone.”
So, despite all the headlines the 900 has claimed, AT&T workers just can’t seem to shake their belief that it’s part of a second-tier platform. Maybe things will get better as more high-profile Windows Phone devices arrive, but AT&T might want to put some thought into how to divorce its employees from iPhone tunnel vision if it ever hopes to move more Windows Phone models.