AT&T set a $50 starting price for Nokia's latest Windows
smartphones, which the struggling Finnish phone maker is pinning its
hopes on for a turnaround.
The No. 2 U.S. mobile provider said on
Tuesday it will sell the Nokia Lumia 820 for $49.99 and the flagship
Lumia 920 phone for $99.99 compared with its $199.99 pricing for HTC
Corp's Windows Phone 8X device.
Nokia, which has lost out hugely
to Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co in recent years, is hinging its
entire future on Microsoft's mobile software. HTC mostly sells phones
based on Google Inc's Android software but is hoping to diversify with
Windows Phone 8.
The three devices are key for Microsoft which is
banking on its Windows Phone 8 software to challenge Apple's iPhone and
Android phones from vendors like Samsung.
The low Nokia price
shows that volumes are more important to the company than profits as it
is hoping to re-build a U.S. customer base, Current Analysis analyst Avi
And with such aggressive pricing, the only reason
these phones could fail to sell well is if consumers decide they are
not interested in the Microsoft software, Greengart said.
"It's almost a referendum on Microsoft's operating system," said the analyst.
is also offering a free wireless charging plate with the purchase of
the Lumia 920, which is worth about $80 according to an estimate from
Greengart, who used previous wireless chargers as a benchmark.
is a valuable accessory that AT&T and Nokia are throwing in the box
for free," Greengart said. "I would think this will make it more
difficult for HTC because they have a product with a smaller display and
less unique features."
The prices are for customers who sign a
two-year wireless contract with AT&T. The phones, which are
available beginning November 9, can be pre-ordered starting Wednesday.
biggest U.S. mobile service provider Verizon Wireless a venture of
Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc said last week that it
would sell another Nokia model the Lumia 822 for $99.99, including a $50
© Thomson Reuters 2012