Nokia’s determination to carve out a niche in the U.S. smartphone market looks like it will start with an awfully enticing offer. According to reports, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and AT&T (NYSE: T) will offer the Lumia 900 for $99, a rung below what other carriers and handset makers are charging for 4G phones with two-year contracts.
BGR first reported the pricing strategy, which was also confirmed by CNET. AT&T is eyeing a March 18th launch date for the Windows Phone Lumia 900, which joins the Lumia 710 on T-Mobile’s network as engine of Nokia’s comeback hopes for the U.S. market, where it has historically struggled.
AT&T offers three LTE Android phones at the moment: the HTC Vivid, the Samsung Galaxy S II, and the LG (SEO: 066570) Nitro, all of which cost $199 with a two-year contract (although the HTC Vivid is currently available for $99 online). Verizon’s LTE phones, which include the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Motorola (NYSE: MMI) Razr, are priced anywhere from $299 for the Galaxy Nexus to free for the HTC Thunderbolt.
So the Lumia 900 may not be the cheapest LTE phone on the market when it arrives in March but it will definitely fall into a competitive pricing band that includes Android phones that are starting to get a little old by the hyper-quick standards of this market. Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) also seems determined to help its partner revive Microsoft’s mobile division, which is believed to make more money from Android licensing deals than it does from software.