Nokia offers new Lumia 900 for free

Nokia’s offering a $100 credit to customers who bought the new Lumia 900 through AT&T – effectively making the phone free – and is extending the offer to anyone buying it in the next ten days.

The giveaway comes following a bug which has been causing the phone to drop its data connection unexpectedly.

“A memory management issue was discovered that could, in some cases, lead to loss of data connectivity,” say Chris Weber and Jo Harlow on the company blog.

“This issue is purely in the phone software, and is not related to either phone hardware or the network itself.”

The phone – Nokia’s first for fourth-generation networks – went on sale on Easter Sunday, costing just under $100 on a two-year AT&T contract. Though there’s no official sales figure yet, some retailers say it was flying off the shelves.

Nokia says it will have a fix available via Zune, probably next Monday, and says if users prefer they can simply swap their phone for one that’s already been updated.

And all customers – including anybody that buys the phone between now and April 21 – will receive a $100 credit on their next bill.

“At $99.99 at AT&T, we think the Lumia 900 is already a fantastic deal. And now, it’s unbeatable,” says the team.

Nokia has a strong incentive to make the offer a generous one. While the company’s phones are popular in most of the globe, it’s been struggling in the highly-lucrative US market. The Lumia 900, with a high spec and high speeds, represents its best hope to break back in.

And making it effectively free, while presumably not part of the original plan, could attract a lot of customers who might not otherwise have considered it.