Report: Nokia Ace to receive "Hero" status from AT&T, part of $100M campaign

BetaNews is reporting tonight from undisclosed sources that the upcoming Nokia "Ace" aka Lumia 900 will be part of a massive advertising campaign, with a reported $100 million dollars being spent promoting the highly secretive device. It's not clear if that money will be spent equally by Microsoft, AT&T or Nokia or divided amongst the three in another fashion.

Perhaps more importantly the phone is reported to receive "hero status" from AT&T which according to BetaNews means that the carrier will "...will promote the device in its advertising, through its retail channels and direct store associates to push the device within its stores." Such a position would be the first for any Windows Phone in the US, perhaps finally giving the the beleaguered OS a shot in the limelight. If all goes well with this Nokia Ace/900 push on AT&T another source indicated that Microsoft is hoping to get carriers to "hero" another device for the 2012 holiday season.

While sources for this story remain undisclosed the information in general terms is exactly what Microsoft and more recently Nokia have essentially promised when launching here in the United States. Most recently this was confirmed when Nokia CEO Elop commented that they were "game" for stepping up their performance, especially in relation to carriers in the US. And considering how much Nokia has invested in Europe e.g. the Deadmau5 event, we imagine they have big plans here for the States.

More will be revealed of course next Monday at 6PM EST when Nokia holds their media event at CES in Las Vegas. Nokia is expected to reveal the "Ace" or Lumia 900, a device with a 4.3" "clear black" screen, 16GB of storage, 4G LTE for AT&T and a front-facing camera.  We'll be their live, covering the event.

Source: BetaNews; Thanks, Domnic T. for the tip!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • This is why the Nokia partnership is a W no other OEMS would do this props to Nokia Microsoft and AT&T. But the question is how is Microsoft and Nokia going to pull this off they are going to release the ACE but what about the Windows 8 Apollo phone they are going to market this as the "flagship" WP7 phone then 5 months down the road Apollo comes out.
    If Microsoft and Nokia want to win the war they need to beat iPhone 5 and Android Jello devices and to do this they need to release earlier and price accordingly.
    In terms of carrier support I suggest having a dedicated Windows stand I hate the fact that WP are cluttered with Android phones it doesn't make it appealing. What I would do is setup a dedicated Windows stand with 3 parts the stand will showcase Windows touchphones, tablets, ultrabooks and keyboard based phones. All phones and tablets are interactive with a pre-configured OS similar to what you see online. The stands will have two small TV's show casing the features of Windows phones so people can watch the TV's and see the features and try them out no need for sales to show you everything. Start deplopying this slowly nation wide.
    Hey it might cost a pretty penny but if they are spending 100M this is NOTHING and this is the best way for people to try the Metro UI on different devices. This is in my opinion how Microsoft + Nokia and AT&T should showcase Metro UI
  • If they were handed $100 million to do it, I'm sure they would. But they don't have side deals with MS like Nokia does.
  • I like what your thinking but the problem is setting up booths to just show these phones would be setting up a mobile shop that dedicated to wp devices which wouldn't work the windows stores themselves have to carrier xbox's, pc and computer help, tablets and a few other devices to remain successful and they are very populated areas
  • iPhones have their own stands I don't see why WP's can't. If MS coughs up the money they sure could I remember seeing dedicated Nokia stands when the Lumia released. In terms of devices they can either do it with multiple WP devices or when Nokia rolling thunder hits it could just be a dedicated Nokia stand.
    Since LTE is taking off they can for sure showcase all the Windows LTE devices from phones to laptops. With a laptop they can advertise device sharing plans and laptop LTE plans.
    I really wish carriers divided their stores so you have a Windows section, iOS section and Android section so people can really find out what phone is really suited for them.
  • Store reps will only learn WP when people start asking for it. You have to understand that most of them are not tech enthusiasts and want to just sell as many phones as possible. The iPhone sells itself as do many of the high end android devices... What they need is to generate regular people's interest with aggressive marketing at Apple..kind of how politicians do it. What I mean is to go on TV and talk shit...tell people why WP phones are better. Namely a fresh new take on interface, hardware choice (bigger screens, 4G, SAMOLED+ screens, etc and tight integration into Facebook, twitter, MS Office and Xbox Live. The 'controversy' will gather people's attention and the phones them self will hold it. Individual stands will not generate interest.
  • If this is true its very good to see that they are "heroing" it as in store reps would get bonuses for pushing this device so they would be much more reason for them to get people to try out the phone, and if this happens it would force other carriers to follow suit and maybe one of the networks in canada to do the same
  • They better remove that AT&T logo in the front and place Nokia's back in the center where it belongs. AT&T's name ruins the design.
  • Some good news.  I just want the device in my hands!!!!!!!!
  • That's it! If Verizon doesn't show a good quality windows phone @ CES then it's time for the axe...I mean the Nokia 710 is great but why would I sacrifice half the storage for another entry level device. My HTC Trophy has 16 GB. I want the mother lode of the 900 specs. If T Mobile gets the 900 also then I'll jump since the 710 is perfect for my wife & kids. AT&T is just not reliable in my area but kudos for campaigning the wp7 OS & devices.
  • Bleh.  I'm a huge WP7 fan and I love the look of the Ace, but I'm not sure I'm willing to go to AT&T for it.  And if I don't switch, then I'll feel guilty for not helping to make this device a success.
    Oh well.  I'm looking forward to CES to see what everyone has in store. 
  • I switched to AT&T for work and got a Focus. So far their customer service has bent over backwards to fix any issues I have had and they tossed me so many free-bees I don't know how they make a profit.
    Prior to that (5 years ago) I had nothing but problems with them. I think they cleaned up their act a lot.
  • I hope this isn't some last ditch effort to "save" WP or get it going as I have read in some mainstream press articles. I don't remember where I read it but they were labeling Nokia as the "savior" for WP and if this doesn't help sales they were predicting, well, doom and gloom...
    Also, how about some different colors?
  • Storage isn't an issue... You do have 25gbs of online SkyDrive storage for STREAMING VIDEOS AND your photos too.
    I don't need more than 8GBs of music on my Phone. Its not an MP3 player I'm gonna use all day draining my battery. I get that the craptacular iPhone is an iPod phone...but I can tell ya 90% of my customers dont use more than 10GBs for music storage.
    I hope this is true of a Hero Campaign... I like my Focus S but Nokia devices are more sleek and generally have more accessories. I haven't found a good case for my Focus S, case mate one keeps the power button held down to where I have to hit it several times just to lock the screen.
  • Storage isn't a huge issue for me personally, (I have a 5GB data plan) but I know people that could fill up 32 or even 64 easily, and WANT to store their media on their phone so they don't have to carry multiple devices. Same reason people want a good camera on their phone. You gonna tell people "a good camera isn't an issue. Carry a point-and-shoot"? (yes, I realize many WP have great cameras just comparing) If people are asking for it, it's an issue. If they feel it's a deal-breaker and WP doesn't offer it, then those are lost sales for WP. It's that simple. People don't buy what they don't want.
  • Dan - Thanks for the props!  But you spelled my name wrong.  It's Dominic T.
  • I hope this campaign means moving Nokia devices to front of the store, and not somewhere near the backroom.
  • Amen to that!
  • Excitement plus! Finally we might even see some Point of Sale material in stores pushing Wp7.  Go Nokia! :D
    Look forward to your CES coverage.  Unfortunately, couldn't find anyone to kick in $5K to get me over there from Aus :D
  • if they want this thing to take off they need to bring it to every U.S. carrier just like the iphone and wont the nexus be alaible for every carrier soon? just saying im on sprint and id choose this over anything even with the dated processor 
  • if $100 million dollars doesn't bring sales for the ace, it's game over.literally this will be the end. that will be too much money to spend and not see huge number of sales. Verizon spent around they much for Android and it brought huge sales. it's fair to expect the same for windows phone.
  • Come to UK please please please
  • Hey Dangish, storage *is* a problem. 25gb in the cloud is useless when you have a restricted data plan like most people in the UK have. Also, cloud storage is useless when you have a poor signal (like on a train, when you're trying to listen to some music) . Also, data costs are so utterly prohibitive in Europe with a UK SIM that most people turn off data when travelling abroad. In all those scenarios, only 16gb in the phone (which is what the HD7 had, what 18 months ago?), is a deal breaker for many, especially when you can get an iPhone with 64gb in it these days.
  • I can't help but feel like this is what the lumia 800 should've been all along
  • Its nice with alternatives tho.
    Many people will think the 900 is too big, then they can look at the 800, perfekt.
  • A little side note: from theguardian uk
    seems google hired paid bloggers (what a suprise as we read the stuff everyday) but the bloggers not only did the bashing job but posted the Crome link alone with the bash.  lol
    According to Google's own rules, they now need to ban Crome from searches for 1 year and 1 month. big LOL
    I think you will see countries start investigating paid content.  This really lets the cat out of the bag and shows eh, the web really is just a paid propaganda site.
  • Where's the link to support theses claims. Not that I don't believe you, but with a username like that, you seem biased.
  • i dont know why some of you think they need to fight the android ios battle.  Mac has been doing its own thing for years and they are successgul and still remain perfect to use.
  • Nothing hear from
  • Um....hero status with only 16GB of storage?  Not in my book.  Nokia Fail.  I'm sticking with my Focus with 40GB.  Is there not going to be just one OEM to release a device with something more than anemic storage on it?  Seriously?
  • 16 GB + 25 GB of cloud storage seems like a pretty legit option.
  • as long as its a wp7 rock on.
  • AT&T has another pretty famous hero with 16Gb storage that does just fine. The 32s are for some, but not most of us. Personally, I think bigger storage, more crap. I use my phone for work as a web designer and 16Gb does just fine for me. How much music or video does one need at all times anyway?
  • +10000 Poeple who defend 16gb of max storage just dont get it.  If 20% of potential buyers need more than 16 GB's then Nokia has cut its potential market by 20%.  Would someone who only needs 16 GB's not buy the phone becuase it has 32 GB's?  Of course not.  But I will not buy the phone if it only has 16.  I travel alot and cloud storage does nothing for me when I am stuck on a plane for 5 hours.  I like the option of more and WP is seriously hamstriging itself with this rediculous, arbitrary limitation.  For gods sakes, if you dont want to jack up the price of the phone for additional built in storage than at least offer expansion via micro sd.  Its not freeking brain surgery.
    It actually reminds me of BB loyalists who always use the argument, "The BB OS does everything I need it to do".  Look how well that is worked out for them.
  • I wonder if the "Hero" marketing will reach BestBuy also. Below are the current WP rankings on AT&T (73 phones offered)
    25. Samsung Focus Flash (24. a week ago, 29. a month ago)
    29. Samsung Focus (31. a week ago, 28. a month ago)
    36. HTC Titan (34. a week ago, 60. a month ago)
    63. Samsung Focus S (58. a week ago, 57. a month ago)
    65. HTC HD7S (63. a week ago, 62. a month ago)
    67. HTC Surround (67. a week ago, 57. a month ago)
    72. LG Quantum (72. a week ago, 68. a month ago) T-Mobile (34 phones offered)
    14. HTC Radar (7. a week ago, 25. a month ago)
    33. HTC HD7 (33. a week ago, 14. a month ago) Verizon (56 phones offered)
    50. HTC Trophy (38. a week ago, 40. a month ago) Sprint (50 phones offered)
    25. HTC Arrive (30. a week ago, 29. a month ago)
  • new news  other sites are reporting that this campaign will be  an investment of $200 million with incentives for sales reps of 10 to 15 dollars per phone along with the other things that were previously mentioned.
  • That's how you get sales right there!
  • Girlfriends itching for me to jump over to Verizon.....but NOT until they get something as compelling as the Titan or Lumia 900. The Trophy just aint gonna cut it and not worth the jump from my awesome Surround !
  • It came true. Also in white. :)