As expected, Nokia and Microsoft are jointly offering the Entertainment Bundle featuring the unlocked AT&T 3G compatible version of the Lumia 800 Windows Phone smartphone bundled with the color-matched Nokia Purity HD Stereo Headset by Monster, the Nokia Luna Bluetooth Headset and the Nokia Play 360° Bluetooth speaker for $899.99 exclusively inside Microsoft Store retail stores. The launch of the bundle heralds the launch of the Lumia 800 in the US despite being excluded from the initial worldwide launch last October.
The high cost of the Entertainment bundle also reflects the current market value of the Lumia 800 as cursory glances on Craigslist and Ebay reveal steady pricing for used models around 550-600 USD while purchasing the additional accessories included separately would typically cost $1500 when taking MSRP into account. Nokia and AT&T are currently ramping up to launch the larger version of the Lumia 800 in the 900 with a 4.3 inch display, Windows Phone Tango and 4G LTE support on March 20th. Pricing has yet to be confirmed.
While the bundle is being intentionally limited to Microsoft retail stores, the bundle reflects Microsoft and Nokia’s growing relationship as both seek to improve the fortunes of the currently flagging Windows Phone platform, which has been plagued by poor marketing and equally poor customer perception as well as lower than average carrier support. AT&T was chosen as Microsoft’s initial launch partner for Windows Phone 7 in late 2010 while Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint have offered little more than token offerings from HTC in the Trophy, HD7 and Arrive respectively.