* Lumia 900 price cut to $49.99 from $99
* Nokia losing market share to Apple, Samsung, other rivals
* Results due July 19, handset loss expected to rise
By Sinead Carew and Jonathan Stempel
July 15 Nokia Oyj has cut the
U.S. price of its flagship smartphone in half, barely three
months after its launch, in an effort to stanch losses in market
share to rivals such as Apple Inc and Samsung
The cost of the Lumia 900 Windows phone has been reduced to
$49.99 from $99 with a two-year agreement, Nokia spokesman Keith
Nowak said on Sunday.
Nokia's phone is sold at AT&T Inc stores. Nowak said
the price cut "is part of our ongoing lifecycle management,
which is jointly done between Nokia and carrier customers."
The spokesman also said a price cut is not unusual at this
time in a smartphone's life cycle, noting that Samsung has cut
the price for its Galaxy S II, launched before the Lumia 900.
Once the world's dominant mobile phone provider, Nokia was
late to embrace smartphones, and has also been losing market
share in less expensive mobile phones.
Featuring a 4.3-inch screen, 1.4-gigahertz processor and
8-megapixel camera, the Lumia 900 uses largely untried software
from Microsoft Corp.
Sales have been slow, and Nokia took a further hit when
Microsoft said current phones will be unable to run its new
Windows 8 software, rendering them obsolete.
Last month, Nokia said it would cut 10,000 jobs, and that
its handset business would post a larger-than-expected quarterly
loss. All three major credit rating agencies have downgraded
Nokia to "junk" status.
Smartphones using Google Inc's Android system are
expected to comprise 61 percent of the global market in 2012,
while Apple's iPhone could capture more than 20 percent,
International Data Corp said last month.
Nokia is expected to report second-quarter results on July
19. Analysts polled by Reuters last week expect a loss in the
handset business of 236 million euros ($289 million), up from
127 million euros ($156 million) in the first quarter.
Shares of Nokia closed Friday at 1.51 euros, after earlier
in the week falling to their lowest since the mid-1990s. They
have slid nearly 95 percent since November 2007.