An Easter Sunday opening day didn't hurt Microsoft as much as it might have before the Internet existed. The new Nokia Lumia phone had its first official sale day yesterday, when many stores were not open. When The New York Times' Bits Blog's Brian X. Chen checked around 3:00 pm yesterday, "nearly all 39 AT&T stores within proximity of Times Square in Manhattan were either closed for Easter Sunday or did not answer phone calls," he wrote. "The few that were open did not have the handset in stock," he continued. A pretty silly move, but Microsoft, Nokia and AT&T, the three parties who hope to make money off of the sales aren't taking the in-store sales strategy, hoping that the Internet will push sales along.
"The Lumia has received tremendous product reviews and we have been taking pre-orders online and in our stores all week," an AT&T spokesperson told Chen. This phone is trying to make a mark via the Web, where 21st century hype is built and 21st Century sales are made. These "tremendous product reviews" of course reference all those tech bloggers that got their hands on the phone and chattered about it for half a day last week. (Not all of them were that tremendous, by the way.) And as the spokesperson explains, a chunk of pre-orders happen online. When Chen first checked on Sunday afternoon, the phone ranked number 5 on the Amazon Cell Phones With Service Plans best sellers list. This morning, when we checked, before stores opened, that number had climbed from 5 to numbers 1 and 2, for Lumia's in black and cyan respectively, on that same list. This one metric doesn't represent all sales figures. But, analyst Tero Kuittinen explained to Chen that Amazon sales are a good indicator of a strong product release.