Nokia Lumia starts pricing for European launch

HELSINKI Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:14pm EDT

A Nokia executive shows the new Lumia 920 phone with Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system at a launch event in New York, September 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

A Nokia executive shows the new Lumia 920 phone with Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system at a launch event in New York, September 5, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nokia's new Lumia smartphones will go on sale in November, taking on the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III ahead of the Christmas season, but some analysts said the prices for the colorful handsets looked high.

When Nokia launched the Lumia 920 and 820 earlier this month, the market was disappointed by a lack of launch dates and prices for the Windows-powered models which are vital for the Finnish company's survival.

Nokia published the first pricing data on its local websites on Thursday, with the Lumia coming in cheaper than the new iPhone 5 but higher than the Samsung Galaxy in some markets. However, the prices are set by local retailers, who buy handsets in bulk from Nokia.

In Sweden, the 32 gigabyte Lumia 920 will sell for around 5,700 Swedish crowns ($860).

That compares with a starting price of 4,515 crowns for a 16GB Galaxy S III on the Swedish site of Expansys, one of the leading online phone stores in Europe. The 32GB iPhone 5 is due to sell at 6,995 crowns.

Adding 16GB of memory costs about $10 to phone makers but consumers pay a lot more. Apple charges about $100 more for the 32GB iPhone 5 than for the 16GB model.

In Italy, the Lumia 920 will sell for 599 euros ($770), compared with 529 euros for the cheapest 16GB Samsung SIII on the Italian Expansys site. However, Italy's top carrier TIM will sell the Lumia 920 for less than the Galaxy.

"Nokia will find it difficult to command a premium over Samsung's Galaxy S III which is the pricing benchmark for a non-Apple flagship smartphone," said Ben Wood, head of research at British consultancy CCS Insight.

The Galaxy S III, which runs on Google's Android platform, launched in May and sold 20 million in the first three months. Apple sold more than 5 million iPhone 5 models in the first three days of sales.

The Lumia 920 and 820 run on Microsoft's new Windows Phone 8 software and both companies are being watched carefully to see whether they can capture market share back from Apple, Samsung and other Android phones.

Once the world's biggest mobile phone maker, Nokia fell behind rivals in smartphones and has racked up more than 3 billion euros in operating losses in the last 18 months.

Windows Phone powers around 3 percent of the global smartphone market, while the Android platform controls two-thirds of sales. Apple has around a quarter.

While people have been queuing for the latest iPhone, with more than 10,000 Belgians preregistering before a local price has even been set, Nokia will partly lure back customers on price.

When it launched, analysts said the curved-edged Lumia, which comes in several bright colors, lacked the "wow" factor or game-changing features to challenge the incumbent rivals.

"Windows Phone is still largely an unknown to consumers - they would probably expect to pay less if they are taking a risk," said Ovum analyst Nick Dillon.

"Hardware-wise they are pretty similar, it would be hard for Nokia to justify that extra cost to consumers."

In Germany, Vodafone will sell the Nokia Lumia 920 for 649 euros. It sells the iPhone for 820 euros, the 32GB Galaxy SIII for 740 euros and the 16GB Galaxy for 530 euros.

Nokia's volatile shares closed 2.7 percent higher at 2.05 euros in Helsinki, regaining some of the lost ground from the previous trading session.

(Editing by Mike Nesbit, David Cowell and Jane Barrett)

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Comments (5)
OuranosSkia wrote:
The extra price probably comes from licensing costs for the Windows 8 OS. Android is an open source OS, so it’s costs (if any) are very low. Windows, however, tends to have somewhat pricey licensing for putting its OS on things.

Sep 27, 2012 8:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
saif001 wrote:
Wow in Sweden the Nokia is 26% more I hope the US/CDN prices are more reasonable.

Sep 27, 2012 9:16am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Klevis wrote:
Actually Lumia 920 is much better than Galaxy S3. Maybe they have some similar specs but Lumia 920 has many more features like Pureview camera, rich recording, Puremotion HD+ (the response rate of the pixels in the screen respond 2.5 times faster eliminating all blur), OIS (optical image stabilization, wireless charging, touch screen works with gloves (or keys or anything else), is super tough to damage, has an incredible user support (after 3 years they still update software and firmware for their old devices), Nokia City Lens, Nokia maps (they are used by 90% of the automobile industry and almost all high profile companies that need map services). And regarding specs, Windows Phone 8 is more efficient and uses the hardware much better than Android. Plus its ecosystem is better (ecosystem is not apps): It shares the same UI with the Microsoft OS for tablets and PCs, it has Windows Office, it has a lot of 3rd party devices etc. In my opinion it is fairly priced in comparison to GS3, but it is true that it will be an uphill battle to convince normal people that the product they are getting is superior.

Sep 27, 2012 9:41am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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