Nokia cuts smartphone prices before new models arrive

HELSINKI Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:58am EDT

Models of the Nokia Lumia 900 cellular telephone are pictured in San Francisco, California April 11, 2012. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Models of the Nokia Lumia 900 cellular telephone are pictured in San Francisco, California April 11, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith

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HELSINKI (Reuters) - Struggling phone maker Nokia has knocked 10-15 percent off the prices of two of its top of the range smartphones, hoping to boost sales before newer models arrive in markets in November.

Nokia has cut the price of the Lumia 800 by around 15 percent and the Lumia 900 by 10 percent in Europe, according to device pricing data compiled by British research firm CCS Insight. Nokia declined to comment.

Earlier this month, Nokia launched Lumia 820 and 920, which many see as crucial for the Finnish company's survival. But the newest models will only go on sale in November, leaving the company's sales team struggling with older smartphone models for over a month.

Nokia had already slashed the price of the Lumia 800 by around 15 percent earlier this month and made smaller cuts for its other Lumia models.

Once the world's biggest mobile phone maker, Nokia fell behind rivals in smartphones and has racked up more than 3 billion euros ($3.86 billion) in operating losses in the last 18 months.

In early 2011, it bet its future on Microsoft's Windows Phone software. Windows accounts for only around 3 percent of global smartphones, while Google's Android platform controls two-thirds of sales and Apple has around a quarter.

Competitive pricing is considered crucial for Nokia to lure back customers, even though pricing does not seem to be an issue for rival Apple. In Belgium, for example, more than 10,000 people have pre-registered for the latest iPhone even before a local price has been set.

(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Jane Merriman)

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