back to article Nokia drops Lumia 900 price to $0 in response to bug outrage

Nokia is hoping an emergency rebate program will mollify American consumers who rushed out and bought the company's new flagship Windows phone - only to get bitten by a serious wireless data bug. The Lumia 900 is Nokia's big comeback phone - and also Microsoft's biggest ever shot at the mainstream US market. It was launched at …

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I have a phone with almost identical specifications

Same chipset, same processor, same screen resolution, but mine has a real keyboard and a much better OS.

I love my HP Pre 3 ;-)

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Headmaster

The way its being reported in the States appears in fact to be fairly low key.

This from Engadget appears to be fairly typical:

"which confirmed that a small number of early handsets shipped with faulty software that caused memory management issues and eventually data connectivity woes. It insists this problem is now fixed, and that come April 16th, all affected consumers may swap their device at any AT&T store or merely download the update."

http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/10/nokia-makes-lumia-900-free-to-all-att-customers/

However, Nokia are indeed showing an unusual turn of speed on this one, their response being that anyone who has already bought it or buys before the 16th gets it, to all intents and purposes, free on contract. If it is the case that the number of customers actually effected is low then this may in fact do Nokia no harm. Indeed it may even do them some good. We have after all seen enough examples in recent times of companies at first denying that there is any problem and then when forced to admit to its existence, being very grudging about rectifying the situation. Nokia's fleetness of foot on this occasion may in fact turn the situation into positive publicity for them.

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Re: The way its being reported in the States appears in fact to be fairly low key.

Right on the money!

I'd go further and say that Nokia/MS could be using this bug as an opportunity for giving their phones for free. If you want a massive market penetration, giving away the product -for a few days only- seems a very good move.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The way its being reported in the States appears in fact to be fairly low key.

Can I get a tinfoil hat with that please?

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Re: The way its being reported in the States appears in fact to be fairly low key.

"Nokia/MS could be using this bug as an opportunity for giving their phones for free".

Errrr.... Let me educate you, MS fanboi. If you want to give a phone away for free with the goal being "a massive market penetration", then you just give it away. For free. There is no way that apologetically giving away a buggy, faulty phone will be for any other reason than damage limitation. It is unlikely, even in America, that people will be swayed to knowingly buy a faulty phone simply because the vendor is grovelling.

You're welcome.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The way its being reported in the States appears in fact to be fairly low key.

Errm, it's not free.

The Verizon contract it's on, you end up paying $1000 for the phone. (actually $900 if you get the rebate).

The $0 is not real, even someone of limited intelligence should be able to see that. Although I guess if you are foolish enough to consider Windows Phone to be a viable alternative to Android or iOS, then perhaps you are too thick to work this out.

The bigger problem of course, is that the current Lumia phones are all dead end, they won't get upgrades to Windows Phone 8, which brings along the compatibility with the Windows 8 Tablet OS, so any apps you buy (not that there are many worth having on the Windows Phone Store), are as obsolete as your phone will be in 6 months time.

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Facepalm

Wow

The Samsung Galaxy SII sold by Sprint has been plagued with problems that kill the cellular and GPS radios, and they both act as if that's normal. I should have bought a Nokia.

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Anonymous Coward

Should have bought a Nokia?

Erm, not if you wanted Android...

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Re: Wow

Well I've been telling time and again that Samsung's products are crap.

They only flood the market to make people belief that everything around is made by them. They only want to monopolize the market of consumer products.

They're the whore of Telecom. They fuck everybody and with everybody.

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The Singer not the Song

Samsung make a fine phone for Google - the Nexus S is a little beauty. Are you sure it's the Samsung phone and not all the little "extras" that your carrier has added (God bless their little cotton socks).

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Re: Wow @Menu T

"They only flood the market to make people belief that everything around is made by them."

What an asinine comment. How exactly does that business plan work?

Let me translate your comment to make the stunning failure of logic clear.

"they only give their product away for cheap to make people think it is popular and that they are a business that makes money."

See the problem yet ? Probably not.

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Anonymous Coward

Dear oh dear.

First we had the Osborne effect (announcing new products before they were ready, and killing sales of the old ones in the process); then, the Ratner effect (announcing the old products weren't good enough anyway); now we have the Ashton-Tate effect (when the new products arrive, they're broken).

Fix or no fix, find me a single salesman who's going to recommend a Lumia to punters now.

How much worse is it going to get?

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Re: Dear oh dear.

They get commission. I'll find you thousands. Do really think salesmen care in the slightest whether the product they sell you is any good?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dear oh dear.

"How much worse is it going to get?"

Well, suppose that their only upcoming 2012 Symbian device (808 pureview) becomes a bestseller...

I'm sure we'll see some heads rolling in Nokia's PR departement soon, perhaps even their CEO might get some red cheeks (as he's the on who personally and prematurely declared that platform dead). It wouldn't surprise me if certain people won't get their bonusses this year ;-)

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Angel

Re: Dear oh dear.

I'm a salesman, and I care.

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Re: Dear oh dear.

@alexh20 - not a lot of commission to be had on $0 (even with the contract)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dear oh dear.

You're also a reg reader, which puts you a cut above other IT sales guys.

I used to work for PC World. I've seen the bullshit first-hand. Selling hard on certain items not because they are good, but because of incentives.

It's the same all over. Not everybody has morals when they can get an extra £5 for selling a crappy item that the customer doesn't need, or a store bonus for selling X number of another item.

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Re: Dear oh dear.

@alexh20:

> They get commission.

That was precisely the point.

> I'll find you thousands.

No you won't. You could walk into a phone shop and ask for a Lumia by name, and the salesmen would try and sell you something else. Reason is precisely that commission. The salesmen want to know that they're keeping it, without any quibble. Endless rounds of complaints, returns and refunds means a large amount of donkey work for them and the prospect of no money at the end of it all. That's what they've experienced so far with WP, and they're not stupid.

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Re: Dear oh dear.

Ex Salesperson, but ditto!

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Coat

I expect they were just holding it wrong

Someone had to say it...

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How low can you go....

Nokia shares plunge on profit warning

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7db37f7e-83ab-11e1-84ca-00144feab49a.html

Surely Microsoft must be ready to buy them now, or can they do even more damage and lower the shareprice even further?

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Windows

Re: How low can you go....

Elop's first three words of the statement....

"Our disappointing device..."

must've been joy to Red (mond) ears...

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Anonymous Coward

How...

..do you miss a bug as big as that? How does "woops, here's $100" restore confidence?

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The real point

How do you miss a bug as big as that?

Not testing? or maybe they have a fleet of internal malcontents who would not bother doing anything about it if they did find out?

Either way, it is a management failure.

And yes, the response is uncharacteristically swift - but that should not engender praise: it is exactly the sort of response one ought to be able to expect.

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Anonymous Coward

Accountability!

Elop loves accountability! Whose head will roll? Harlow must be worried.

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Anonymous Coward

What Nokia needs are bigger screens

Their first models had 3.5" screens, and windows phone 7 didn't fit on the screen. Now they have 4.3" screens, and it STILL doesn't fit. They must be absolutely praying that 5" is enough!

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Eh?

What are you on about?

Sending this from a Lumia 800, which is the best Windows Phone device I've used (and I've used many, right from the beta devices used by Microsoft to develop Windows Phone) - even despite the poor battery life (hurry up deploying that fix Orange!) and occasional resets when making/receiving calls.

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Re: What Nokia needs are bigger screens

Windows Phone has a deliberate design metaphor where stuff like titles appears to run off the screen. This can be seen in screenshots. But the stuff is fitting just fine, it's designed to look like that.

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@DrXym

Whoosh...

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Paris Hilton

@DrXym

Are you saying it is supposed to look stupid? or just that it looks stupid?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eh?

They can't go any bigger, Windows Phone doesn't support Hi-Res displays (nor does it support multi-cores, nor does it support proper multitasking)...

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JC_

@DrXym

The run off is a design conceit which usually looks good, but it's annoying with contacts who have similar and long (Polish!) names which get cut off.

Off-topic: 3 downvotes for your entirely factual post? What is it with so many Reg posters? Y'all react like Pavlov's dog as soon as you see "M$".

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Re: What Nokia needs are bigger screens

Wow 3 downvotes so far by idiots. Anyone who thinks Microsoft is incapable of making the UI "fit" really needs read their design docs. I'm not exactly pro WIndows but even I can figure out it's a conscious design choice and in practice its very clear what they were aiming for.

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Linux

Re: What Nokia needs are bigger screens

And why is it that I find this to be utterly and completely pretentious, and indeed perhaps the single BIGGEST Eyesore yet devised by a Committee of complete dolts ever foisted on the masses of the general public at large?

Microsoft are ohh so oft accused of nicking "iDeas" from Apple, what a shame they couldn't be arsed this time 'round to actually create something more sensible then the Metro Interface.

Me thinks that perhaps that since I'm already skilled enough to use Linux on a daily basis (i.e. Command Line Linux not GUI!), that I might actually have to consider making it an OS option come the next 'round of Hardware Updates.

There just is no way I'm ready to give up the age old Start Button for a touchy-feelly Metro thing-a-ma-jig. that's as completely as ugly on a +24" LED Monitor as it is on a 3.5" Phone.

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Angel

Re: Eh?

So the best Windows Phone you've used has poor battery life and occasinoal resets when making/receiving calls?

You're not expecting very much from your phone, are you?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eh?

"They can't go any bigger, Windows Phone doesn't support Hi-Res displays (nor does it support multi-cores, nor does it support proper multitasking)..."

And they have a signal problem.

Sounds like some phones made by Apple...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eh?

@jayess Orange deploy a fix or an upgrade? Hope you aren't holding your breath.

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Re: Eh?

Having used Windows phones in the past, I can confirm that expectations are generally not high.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eh?

"hurry up deploying that fix Orange!"

This is exactly the problem. Telcos should be nothing more than a dumb pipe thank you. Get your shit off my phone.

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Yet again... bribing the punters to get sales...

wondered why the sales figures were so high... they were giving them away in effect... this is so typical of Microsoft (and their satraps) these days... the product sucks so much that they have to fudge the sales figures by giving them away...

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Re: Yet again... bribing the punters to get sales...

> giving them away...

And they may even try the trick they pulled on Spyglass* to avoid paying the manufacturer.

* Spyglass wrote Internet Explorer for Microsoft on the basis that they would receive a royalty payment (of $5.00 I think) for every copy sold. Microsoft then gave IE away for free** and thus did not give any money to Spyglass at all.

** In my view if it was included on the disk that they sold with Windows then it was part of the sale regardless that it said 'includes a free copy of IE' on the box.

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Anonymous Coward

See that Apple

That is how you respond to a design flaw or manufacturing error with your products. You don't keep silent until public pressure forces you to say something and then blame the end-users. You man up, admit the fault and rectify it quickly.

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Nokia?

Never heard of them

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Lumia 800 had bugs too

It took about 4 months for Nokia to roll out a fix which stopped my Lumia 800 draining in about 18 hours. And if by misfortune the battery went dead it wouldn't wake up again even when I mains charged it. I had to trickle charge through a PC to coax it back to life. It's now working more on par with what I would expect of a smart phone though still nothing special.

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Anonymous Coward

At least that's not a bug in the Lumia 900

In my experience, the new Lumias are _designed_ to drain the battery in 18 hours.

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Ouch. At least they fessed up though and immediately tried to fix the problem.

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FAIL

DOOOOOOOMED

Sooooooooooo lame, was always going to come to this the crappy Nokia and MS QA combine to give a fail as bad as the grip of death... guess they're just lucky nobody cares about Nokia in the US.

Good luck Nokia purchasers, on a 2-year deal, you may even get a decent OS by the end (though I wouldn't bet on it).

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Re: DOOOOOOOMED

> you may even get a decent OS by the end

That is unlikely. WP7 is restricted to single core CPU both by directive from MS and by capability. It is also similarly restricted to 800x480.

The next WP is supposed to be WP8 based on Windows 8/WOA. This, however, seems to _require_ dual core. All current WP7 phones will be obsolete within a year as it seems they will never be able to get WP8.

Anyway with only 800x480 they will not match up to the current crop of Quarter-HD (960x540) phones, let alone higher resolutions which will come during this year.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: DOOOOOOOMED

>The next WP is supposed to be WP8 based on Windows 8/WOA. This, however, seems to _require_ dual core. All current WP7 phones will be obsolete within a year as it seems they will never be able to get WP8.

it doesn't require a duel core, it supports it, there's a big difference, various pieces of FUD out there have suggested that WP8 wont work on WP7 devices, there is no real evidence to suggest that, in fact there are reports of MS personnel saying that yes not all features from WP8 will hit 7. This sounds about right given that you would need to be stupid to think that by upgrading the OS you'll magically get a second CPU core. hardware dependant, WP7 will get some of the WP8 good news.

The tango update shortly to be releases has done a great job in lowering the spec needed for WP, meaning that with the release of WP8 there will be an OS that supports a much larger hardware base then it currently does.

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Anonymous Coward

Such a shame

This is a real real shame for Nokia. It is a massive PR disaster for them after such a huge launch.

Their share price shows they are in real trouble and they were pretty much putting it all on black with this phone in terms of high end devices. This is a real black eye and is going to cost them any traction they may have gained before the launch of the Galaxy S 3, the iPhone 5 and before people hear about the HTC One X

I wonder how much they are making on these devices now they are giving them away for nothing upfront? Anyone got any ideas how much the manufacturer sees of the money made on the typical 2 year contract?

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