Nokia’s Lumia 900 Is Out of Stock at AT&T’s Online Store, but Why?

Published on April 16, 2012
by John Paczkowski

When Paul Roth, AT&T’s president of retail sales and service, said last week that sales of Nokia’s Lumia 900 Windows Phone had exceeded expectations, he wasn’t exaggerating.

Indeed, it appears that the device is selling so well that it’s tough to even find one right now. AT&T’s online store lists both versions of the device — cyan and black — as temporarily out of stock. At Amazon Wireless, the cyan version is back-ordered. And four of the five AT&T stores I called told me they had run out of stock.

Which is good news and bad for the Nokia, AT&T and Microsoft triumvirate — if the stock-outs are demand-related.

Good news in that the Lumia 900, the most eagerly anticipated Windows Phone device to date, is off to a good start, despite an unfortunate software glitch that prevented Internet access for some early customers. Bad news in that Nokia and AT&T don’t seem to have a supply sufficient enough to put a 900 in the hands of everyone who would like one.

There are a few caveats to this, however. It’s possible that these stock-outs may not be demand-related. They could, for example, be caused by Nokia’s offer of replacement handsets to consumers whose Lumia 900s were affected by that software glitch I mentioned earlier. While it’s likely that most of those consumers opted for a downloadable fix for the issue, it’s also conceivable that a number of them might have swapped their devices for new ones at a local AT&T store. And that clearly would have an effect on inventory.

Another possible reason for these inventory issues: AT&T’s Lumia 900 stock might have been depleted if it returned handsets potentially affected by the software glitch to Nokia for updating and recertification. Though I have no insight into it, I imagine that process would take some time. And it would likely have inventory implications for AT&T’s online store, and its local outlets as well.

AT&T and Nokia both declined comment on the issue.

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