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Nokia slashes hit phone price

The Nokia E65 is shown at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, February 15, 2007. Nokia <NOK1V.HE> slashed this week around 15 percent off from the price of its 3G phone model E65, one of the top sales and profit generators for the world's largest cellphone maker, market data showed on Friday.REUTERS/Albert Gea

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nokia NOK1V.HE slashed this week around 15 percent off from the price of its 3G phone model E65, one of the top sales and profit generators for the world's largest cell phone maker, market data showed on Friday.

Analysts said the price cut was deeper than usual, but they were not surprised by the timing as handset vendors are setting up their offerings for the upcoming Christmas sales season.

Nokia sold more than one million E65’s in the second quarter, making it one of the top three products for the firm. It will report July-September results on October 18, but analysts said all signs showed that good sales of the phone have continued.

Nokia said E65 price cut was part of its normal price adjustments after the phone has been on the market for more than 6 months. Its success helped to pull Nokia’s ailing enterprise unit to the black in the second quarter after years of losses.

“This is normal for any product, the price varies at different stages of the product life cycle,” said a Nokia spokeswoman.

After the price cut E65 competes in the same price category with rivals hit phones Samsung's U600 005930.KS and Sony Ericsson's K810i 6758.TERICb.ST.

Apple cut its iPhone price by one third just two months after it launched the phone, but later offered some rebates after phone owners’ uproar. Price cuts of up to 10 percent are normal in the industry after first few months of sales.

Nokia has also clearly lowered prices for its E61i, N73 and N73 Music phones this month, but not as sharply as E65.

“Nokia has been very aggressive with its pricing strategy during 2007,” said Ben Wood, head of research at consultancy CCS.

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