Lumia 900 may not get next major Windows Phone update

While the upcoming launch of the Nokia Lumia 900 will be AT&T’s largest by far users may want to be wary about how future-proof the device will be.

I visited Nokia’s sparkling headquarters in Sunnyvale to discuss the upcoming launch of the Lumia 900 and I asked how confident can people be that this handset will be able to get the next major Windows Phone update, which many are expecting toward the end of the year.

“We don’t know yet,” Chris Searight, Nokia marketing launch manager, said. He also added that the company is really anxious to “know what comes next.”

I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and hope he misspoke, as the leaked details we think we know about Windows Phone 8 reportedly came from a Microsoft video to Nokia partners. The companies have also said many times that there is a “unique” relationship between them, so you would hope that Nokia would know what the deal is. Or at the very least, it would know how to message the uncertainty in a better way.

If this confusion remains, I’ll really have a hard time recommending the Lumia 900, even though it’s shaping up to be a great device. The specs look pretty good and in our brief time with it at CES 2012, we came away impressed.

But the upcoming Windows Phone 8 (or whatever it’s finally called) is supposed to be a major update that brings a lot of new features, adds security and changes many fundamental elements of the platform, presumably for the better. There’s always something better down the road but when you buy the Lumia 900, you’re buying into this ecosystem for at least 18 months (the average length of handset ownership). It’s kind of crappy to know that your device may not be able to update to the latest and greatest in just six months or so.

To be fair, the confusion doesn’t mean that it won’t get the update. I’d also go out on a limb and say that even if it just ran Windows Phone Mango, the Lumia 900 would still be a solid handset in 15 months or so.

It’s just not a great first step for a company and a platform which are trying to mount a significant comeback.

If you’re curious about the Lumia 900, check out our video of it from CES 2012 below.

  • I do hope that the Nokia 900,  the Samsung focus s, and the HTC Titan 2 get the update  I see no reason why the best of  the Windows 7.5 Mango smart phones should not get the Update unless Microsoft wants to create 3 classes of smart phones which would be the 7.5 mango smart phones , the Windows 8 Super smart phones and the Windows 7 series Tango cheap smart phones. Microsoft would then have a fragmented line of smart phones which I think would not be good for Microsoft. It mighr be hard for Microsoft to do but all current Microsoft smart phones should get the update to Windows phone 8. .

    • If it’s anything like the other guys, I would imagine the only reason not to push win8 to current gen devices would be hardware limitations like NFC.  If something hardware based becomes a standard for the OS, then it’ll probably hold back the current devices.  IMO, Microsoft would be idiots to invest so much money into things like giving ATT employees the device if it’s destined to have such a short life as a top tier device.

  • Look, this is not Android it Windows Phone like Apple. If MS can put win8 on the Lumia 900 or any windows phone 7 they will …
    Again, Its not Android.

    • Anonymous

      this article is a joke

  • Anonymous

    Why would a marketing manager know this, their mission is to market any device as is today. Pointless article aimed at getting hits for this site. Microsoft had previously stated that all mango generation and above Windows Phone’s should be upgradable.

    • Anonymous

      Disagree. If they’re confident in the update, then that’s definitely a selling point of this device. You see many Android devices being released with “capable of being updated to ICS.” Nokia later followed up with me essentially saying that they cannot comment on future updates and that I should refer to Microsoft about it. I’m pinging them. 

      • Anonymous

        i have been waiting for an update on my my android phone for two years. how come u havent warned abt andoid phone prior to them being released. how come u havent written abt it.  this phone is not yet released and u r bashing it.  i call this “honest journalism”. lol

        ps: i have switched to WP7. had u guys told us about the andoid freezing hell, it would have prevented me from buying that phone. andoid = freezing hell, sluggish, malware, fragmentation, etc

        • Anonymous

          Fair point but I would assume that the Android update system is so screwed right now that those articles aren’t even needed. And yes, Windows Phone does have minor updates to fix bugs like the disappearing keyboard and yes, those don’t always come to all users on all carriers. 

      • Why all the concern over a $100 phone. If Windows 8 Apollo has n-core support than why not upgarde to a Lumia with n-core support. I don’t think it’s the “big” deal. Let’s talk about the iPhone 5 upgarde for the 4S. How many iPhones a year is Apple going to release. Can’t wait for the dozen W8 tablets to be released in October 2012.

  • Dan Goldberg

    Another person making statements about rumors. 

    • Anonymous

      Another thing: The first couple Lumias are not everything that Nokia will eventually do with Windows Phone, as they’re just essentially providing the hardware and putting on code that was finalized as they struck the deal. These first-gen Lumias may not actually have the long-term vision in mind, even if they’re marketed like crazy. 

      • The first Lumias have a longer term vision in mind than the first 4 iPhones.

        • Anonymous

          Actually, they don’t. The first Lumias came out six months after the deal was announced and were done to prove it can get them out. Not to say they’re bad but these are not the devices that Nokia is capable of with this platform. 

  • Marin I’m with you on this article.

    Everyone wants to know if their phone will be updated or not and I think the press is the big player that can pressure Microsoft and its partners to get the information about the update for us. Thanks for this kind of article, spreading the indecision they’re leaving to their potential consumers (us). Thanks to every journalist that is making one!

  • So what, I’ll just upgrade from the Nokia 900 to the Nokia 990 which will have dual cores, NFC, Skype and Office 2013. Gee maybe it’ll cost a whole $100-200 which makes the Nokia 900 plus the 990 still more economical than the iPhone 4s. You can get the 900 for $100 at AT&T and it’ll probably be $49 at Amazon and WalMart. Article is a bunch of overstated FUD. Maybe I can give the Lumia 900 to a friend when I upgrade tothe Lumia 990.

    • Anonymous

      More like $500-%600. Remember, that $99 price tag is with a new two-year contract and subsidy.

  • kj

    Well again, I like what Microsoft has done with their new Operating Systems for both Mobile and Desktop. But when they don’t make updates available for current users, they’re at an advantage…especially when Apple lets their users to update their phones freely. That makes Microsoft more restrictive than Apple in a way (NOT GOOD).

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