Since the dawn of Windows Phone, its relatively slow sales in contrast to other platforms is largely attributable to those on the front lines. Salespeople are unfamiliar with the platform, and thus naturally push Android and iOS devices to consumers far more than Windows Phone devices. To help solve this problem, it appears that Nokia and AT&T may strike a deal in which front-selling AT&T employees will have the ability to receive a Lumia 900 (for ‘Company Use’) at no cost.
They will, however, have to hand in their current ‘Company Use’ handset — which is either an iPhone or one of the flagship Android devices — in order to participate. So, it isn’t forced exclusivity, but the ability to receive the device completely free of charge may sway some employees to give Windows Phone a shot. Nokia expects that around 80% of Nokia employees will be using the Lumia 900.
So, how much will Nokia be paying AT&T to conduct this promotion? Up to $25 million, according to WPCentral. However, I think that it will be a sound investment. With employees genuinely interested and passionate in the Windows Phone OS, their ability to actually sell the handsets will be far better than if it continues to be something obscure that they don’t pay much mind to.
As a quality piece of hardware, the Lumia 900 is pretty much the perfect device to make people fall in love with the OS. Apparently, it is aptly a “hero” device, which, in carrier-speak means that it would be a heavily-promoted phone (think to the level of the iPhone and some flagship Android handsets), and will be touted significantly in stores. It will be the first Windows Phone to receive this status.
Perhaps with the iPhone available through other carriers, AT&T wishes to find a new platform to push to make itself truly unique from the competition. Whatever the case, this can only lead to good things for the Windows Phone platform.