Withtech blogs leaking somewhat inaccurate information about Microsoft and Nokia's plans for marketing Windows Phone in the United States during the first half of 2012—and others still predictably parroting that information—I thought it might be worthwhile to set the record straight. Microsoft and Nokia will not spend "in the neighborhood of $100 million" to market Windows Phone this year. The companies are spending much more than that.
And that's just in the United States. In this most crucial of markets, Microsoft has one goal and one goal only: Convince consumers to purchase millions of Windows Phone handsets in the first half of 2012. Doing so will require a new set of phones—as I exclusively detailed previously in Microsoft's LTE Plans for Windows Phone
—as well as stepping up engagement with tech enthusiasts, increasing retail-worker recommendation rates through training ands sales incentives, and other means.
But most of all, it's going to require a lot of money.
Nokia is helping, but so are other Windows Phone hardware partners like Samsung. (As you might recall, Nokia previously stated that it would spend more money marketing Windows Phone in the coming year than it had on any previous initiative.) According to the internal Microsoft documentation I've viewed, the total cost of this marketing tsunami is in the neighborhood of $200 million, not $100 million. And again, that's just for the United States. And on AT&T at least, Nokia is outspending Microsoft 2-to-1.
Included in the plan are sales incentives for retail workers, aimed at getting them to finally start recommending Windows Phone as an alternative to Android and iPhone. The amount of payments are $10 to $15 per handset sold, depending on the number sold, for some handset models.
I don't want to reveal more, and I've been sitting on this information for weeks so that Microsoft can make its big announcement at CES this coming week. But with these leaks, as with the equally inaccurate LTE leaks last week, I felt the need to set the record straight. The way tech blogs work these days is that any information, no matter how inaccurate, is simply parroted between all the gadget blogs and then, inevitably, to the increasingly lazy mainstream news as well. So let's at least get it right.