Nokia Lumia 900 FrontAT&T’s Lumia 900 is a big deal. Not only does the success of the Nokia/Microsoft partnership rest squarely on its cyan shoulders, but it may also determine how successful Nokia is here in the United States.

We like it, but the device seems to have tripped up slightly. Following the emergence of a pesky data problem, Nokia said it will issue a $100 credit to anyone who purchased the device before April 21. Add that to the fact that the device was already $99 — or even free in some instances — and it doesn’t seem like there’s very much money to be made. Not when the device costs $209 to build, anyway.

According to iSuppli, the Nokia Lumia 900 costs more to make than Apple’s iPhone — using last-gen parts at that.

Nokia and Microsoft seem to be aiming to entice other hardware manufacturers by demonstrating that a full-featured smartphone can be built using components that are about a generation behind the current high end, and therefore cheaper, Andrew Rassweiler, an iSuppli analyst told AllThingsD.

Apple’s 16GB iPhone 4S model costs an estimated $188 to build and retails for $200. Most of the Lumia’s components are about in-line with that of the iPhone, except the cost of its screen is more, even though it has a lower resolution.

There hasn’t been much marketshare to go around for Windows Phone. Nokia and Microsoft are trying to change that with the Lumia 900 by throwing huge subsidies at consumers. It may be working, too. Nokia has sold more than 2 million Lumia-branded smartphones so far. However, Nokia might be looking at a pretty large bill if the Lumia 900 doesn’t continue on the same successful path as the entire Lumia family.

[via All Things D, iSuppli]