And if you don’t already own a Lumia 900? Well, just buy one in the next week or so and you can get the rebate, too.
Reports of data connection failures surfaced last week as people who had pre-ordered the Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows-based phone began to receive it. According to VentureBeat, Nokia now admits that some Lumia 900 units were shipped with defective software and will offer a $100 credit to anyone who already purchased the phone.
AT&T (NYSE:T) sells the Lumia 900 for $99, making the phone essentially free after the rebate – you’ll still need to commit to a two-year AT&T service contract, of course — and the offer is good until April 21.
In an additional show of customer care, VentureBeat says Nokia will even offer the rebate to people who attempt to purchase the phone prior to April 21 but find the product out of stock.
Nokia insists the issue is entirely software-related, VentureBeat reports. Updated phones, free of the problem, have been dispatched to AT&T stores. Users experiencing the problem can exchange affected phones for new ones. A software patch also will be released next week.
The Lumia 900 had been otherwise well-received and represents a critical product for Nokia, which is trying to boost its sliding standing among smartphone makers.
Nokia’s falling fortunes were emphasized by a warning issued by the company this morning. Nokia said first-quarter results likely would be hampered thanks to weak smartphone sales, and that second-quarter results would be similarly slow. The company also said operating margins would be around -3% vs. an expected break-even plus or minus about 2 percentage points.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop pinned the company’s future hopes on its new smartphones in a press release, saying, “Within our smart devices business unit, we have established early momentum with Lumia, and we are increasing our investments in Lumia to achieve market success.”
CNET, however, reports that AT&T’s sales staff might prove a greater obstacle for the Lumia 900 than the data connection issue. When a CNET reporter visited several New York AT&T stores this week, store employees declined to recommend the Windows-based Lumia, with one telling him that the phone was “alright” but “no iPhone.”