Is your Lumia 900 Windows Phone defective? Nokia has a remedy
Late today, Nokia confirmed the Lumia 900 suffers from an Internet connectivity problem, confirming reports first seen on its own message boards earlier this week. The company's US arm blames a software glitch for the problem. What is stunning, however, is the company's mea culpa: it makes Apple's response to "Antennagate" look stingy in retrospect.
"Software update coming soon to Nokia Lumia 900 addressing memory management", a tweet from Nokia US reads. "Customers receive automatic $100 credit". The update is due April 16, with the $100 credit valid through April 21. Affected users will be able to switch their device out for no charge instead if they prefer, and any new customer will get the device for free, since it retails in store for $99.
The issue surrounds how the phone manages memory and affects a small subset of Lumia owners. Those with the problem have had to remove their SIM card, turn the device off, turn it back on with the SIM removed, turn off the device, replace the SIM and then boot the device again. In some cases this will fix the issue.
In a tweet exchange with my colleague Joe Wilcox this evening, Bob Egan, Vice president of Mobile Strategy at Mobiquity, confirms seeing the problem and using the SIM-removal fix. Egan says the problem is "random as in some phones, not others. Seems to be a small percentage & may actually hv some relationship to a bug in provisioning...one of 900s I have just stop talking to the LTE network. Phone reset. Power cycle phone w/ SIM out. Problem gone".
AT&T started selling the Lumia 900 on April 8th, making the bug a potential marketing disaster, just two days later. Nokia is taking no chances.
"As a proactive and prudent measure, we decided, together with AT&T, to take immediate action", Nokia's US chief Chris Weber says. "We have identified the issue, and have developed a solution".
Nokia is already manufacturing devices with the software update included, and is shipping them to AT&T stores. The company did not specify when the updated Lumia would arrive in stores for affected customers, but told All Things Digital it was focused on "how do we do something unprecedented for any inconvenience, (and) pleasantly surprise the customers".
April 21 seems to be a date selected on purpose, though, as the white version of the device will become available on the 22nd. If the iPhone is any indication, white could be a popular color for the Lumia. Why not diminish any negative financial effects of the all-but recall by ending the deal before the white model launches?
Regardless, Nokia made a bold move here, and is getting some praise from industry professionals close to Microsoft. "Apple give users a $10 free case due to reception issues and Nokia fixes the issue and give you $100 cash", Microsoft Group Policy MVP Alan Burchill tweets.
Editors note: We should correct Mr. Burchill, though: the cases handed out by Apple for Antennagate were worth $29, not $10.