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How’s this for a price war? Costco and Wal-Mart are both taking steps to get Nokia’s Lumia 710 Windows Phone into the hands of smartphone buyers before the debut of the higher-end Lumia 900, announced last week at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Costco is selling the device for a penny, with a qualifying two-year contract from T-Mobile USA. The same phone now costs nothing at Wal-Mart with a two-year contract.

The phone, released last week, marks Nokia’s return to the U.S. smartphone market, kicking off an initiative that will be critical for Microsoft in its bid to rebound against the iPhone and Android devices.

The list price for the Lumia 710 is $50, which is cheap to begin with. As noted in our hands-on review, if you’re in the market for a Windows Phone, the Lumia 710 a very nice device, particularly at that price — and especially for a penny or less.

The Lumia 900 will run on AT&T’s 4G LTE network, and the release is expected sometimes in March, as noted by

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