AT&T has big plans for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8
It looks like once again AT&T in the United States will be taking the helm for Windows Phone 8 and even Windows 8 come October and November. Windows Phone Central has now confirmed information about AT&Ts upcoming plans, including employee-training dates for the big launch. The info comes via two known and trusted sources who wish to remain anonymous to the public.
First up are Windows 8 tablets. With Lenovo’s ThinkPad 2 officially having AT&T’s LTE on board, it’s not too much of a surprise that the mobile carrier will be looking to sell the tablets in their store direct to customers. We were quoted the $799 price-tag by Lenovo last week for the 10.1” tablet and we’re confident that you will be able to pick one up there come October 26th.
In addition, Acer and Samsung may also have tablets sold through AT&T e.g. the ATIV Tab though we have yet to confirm pricing or any other details. We do know that AT&T was looking at these devices as candidates too though we are not sure if they have been picked up. These tablets along with the Lenovo will be on display in stores, presumably with a tie in to Windows Phone 8.
For those looking to buy Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet, AT&T will of course not be a part of that for two reasons, one obvious, the other not so much. First, none of the Surface tablets have as of now 4G capabilities, so AT&T would have no incentive to sell that device. Second, Microsoft is adamant about controlling the way the Surface is sold to customers, hence why only their official Stores will sell the device direct to the masses. We have evidence of an internal policy from Microsoft that in short says they don’t trust the Best Buy-type chains to accurately represent and sell their products.
The other bit of information we have is that AT&T will have two employee training dates: September 30th and October 16th. We’ve confirmed that these dates will be both for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 preparation to familiarize store employees with the new terminology, branding and feature set.
Heading into speculation land, we reported earlier that AT&T was planning on launching the Nokia Lumia 920 on October 21st. While this above information does not confirm that date nor add to it, it is curious that the second training date is on the 16th. Had the date been post October 21st, we could have at least downplayed that launch window for the Lumia 920. Instead, it may back up that information.
AT&T has yet to officially announce support for the Lumia 920 though it is widely expected. In addition, the company will be getting the HTC 8X reportedly in "early November" and we wouldn't put it past them to get the Samsung ATIV S too.