The Verge has learned from sources familiar with the matter that AT&T's actual marketing budget for the Lumia 900 — a flagship device for Nokia, Microsoft, and AT&T alike — is nowhere near the "as much as $150 million" figure floated in an Ad Age report yesterday. It's actually lower, more in line with what AT&T would expect to spend on any high-profile device launch. In light of that, AT&T doesn't seem to be banking on the Lumia to counter any perceived threat from its loss of iPhone exclusivity. Ad Age noted a comScore report suggesting that Verizon's smartphone penetration is growing far faster than AT&T's, but in reality, AT&T is still well ahead: 56.8 percent to 44 percent among postpaid subscribers. According to both carriers' Q4 2011 earnings statements, Verizon enjoyed a 5 percent growth in smartphone ownership between Q3 and Q4, but AT&T wasn't far behind at 4.2 percent.
That may be good news for any AT&T shareholders who were concerned that the carrier would spend nine figures on a phone that's anything but a sure thing at retail. It could be bad news for both Microsoft and Nokia, though: any dollar AT&T doesn't spend is a dollar that Redmond or Espoo will need to kick in, assuming that they're as focused on getting the word out as they appear to be.