Bad news for Nokia. Right after its new creation, the Lumia 900, was released, a software glitch has been found. This zero day defect prevents some users from connecting to the Internet, relenting the phone useless. Not exactly the kind of propaganda you would want when you are a struggling cell-phone manufacturer that is trying to go back mainstream and compete against the iPhone and Android devices.

In what looks like a desperate, yet very smart, move, Nokia is offering a 100$ rebate to everyone who purchases the device between its release and April 21st. Therefore, the phone is for free (it’s initial price, with the 2 year contract commitment, is 100$).

Nokia has released an official statement claiming the problem to be originated by a software glitch:

…In short, a memory management issue was discovered that could, in some cases, lead to loss of data connectivity. This issue is purely in the phone software, and is not related to either phone hardware or the network itself…

No more details are given, but perhaps the blame should be for Microsoft, responsible for the OS of the Nokia Lumia 900. It does look like, though, the problem might be in the firmware of the modem, given that it is a connectivity problem. And that would technically not be Nokia’s fault neither would be Microsoft’s. Anyhow, without more information I rather not speculate… It is just very unfortunate, since this is the first Windows phone able to connect to the fast AT&T LTE network.

More about the news from Forbes:

Technology Consultant Matt Ebert says that Nokia is likely willing to eat this cost as it desperately needs the Lumia 900 to succeed to compete against competitors like Apple. As he explains, “WP7 has a very small market share right now. They are barely ahead of Blackberry, but far behind Android and iPhone.” However, he adds that even though “The WP7 operating system is outstanding, until now, they did not have the hardware that could go toe-to-toe with the iPhone. With the Lumia 900, you have a phone with hardware specs pushing high-end,” but with a $99 contract usually found on low-end, entry level phones.

Surely, the failure to assure customers of a successful new generation of Windows phones under these circumstances could have doomed their entire future.

Instead, it appears Microsoft may have actually benefitted from this glitch. Not only will everyone who has already purchased the phone receive the rebate, but the fact the phone is practically now free to anyone who purchases the Lumia 900 (until April 21) may entice unlikely AT&T customers to try the new Lumia 900 at no risk.

A risk that might be worth taking if you happen to be an AT&T customer. Ebert says that even though he is not able to really utilize the LTE yet, he is “getting 4G HSPA+ speeds, which are markedly faster than my iPhone and Focus. In fact, yesterday I did a side by side bandwidth test between my Focus and the Lumia 900. At 4G HSPA+ speeds the Lumia 900 was about 5x faster”. Most other reviews have demonstrated that the Lumia is indeed a superior phone – and now that Microsoft now has one of the best opportunities to place a Windows Phone in as many consumers’ hands as possible, Microsoft could soon no longer be far behind Apple and Android – if at all.

 

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