Nokia's Lumia 900 is a top-notch smartphone that had an impressive launch. But the company's flagship device has been undermined by tough Android competitors and by Microsoft 's announcement that existing Windows phones will be unable to upgrade to the coming Windows Phone 8.
That's the reaction from analysts after the struggling Finland-based phone manufacturer announced it was slashing the Lumia's price from an already cheap $99 to a bargain $49.99 via AT&T just three months after its highly anticipated launch.
"Nokia Lumia 900 uptake has been strong for the last three months since its launch in April," said wireless expert Neil Shah of Strategy Analytics. "However, newer, recently launched Android flagships such as Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC's One X, and Sony's Xperia Ion have definitely pushed Nokia Lumia out of the driver's seat."
On the company's Conversations blog Sunday, Jason Harris spun the price cut as a chance to score a top-quality device at a low price. "High-end design used to hit your wallet where it hurts," he wrote. "Not any more. As prestigious fashion designers team up with retail outlets to bring catwalk style at cost-conscious prices, we're happy to announce that you can now pick up the Nokia Lumia 900 for just $49.99 on a two-year contract from AT&T in the U.S."
In a statement carried by the Associated Press, company spokesman Doug Dawson called the move "a normal strategy that is put in place during the life cycle of most phones," saying that sales figures for the Lumia 900 would be part of second-quarter earnings released Thursday.
Once the top mobile phone maker in the world, Nokia has slipped to second place behind Samsung based on first-quarter numbers reported by research firms.
Nokia is betting on Microsoft's Windows mobile operating system, which has only a tiny share of the global market, to reverse its fortunes. But last month the U.S. software giant announced that the coming Windows 8 for phones won't work on current devices due to hardware requirements.
Microsoft said current Windows phones would only be able to upgrade to the look of a Windows 8 home screen.
"The Windows Phone 7.5-based Nokia Lumia 900 will now be positioned in a 'lower price-tier"' segment making it an attractive 'value-for-money' device for first-time smartphone buyers," Shah told us.
Such price cuts, he added, are now "commonplace as the device lifecycles get shorter and shorter and especially for re-entrants such as Nokia to protect its shelf-space and sales against the likes of Samsung, Apple and others."
Another analyst, Weston Henderek of Current Analysis, said that even with the price cut the pending upgrade will make the Lumia 900 a tough sell for informed consumers.
"Since it takes a two-year contract to get the $49.99 price, that is still a long time to be locked into a platform that will not be compatible with Windows Phone 8," Henderek told us.
Posted: 2012-08-13 @ 7:59pm PT
I bought a Nokia Lumia 900 at its launch in Malaysia and overnight it just went from incredible to downright disappointment when Microsoft announced that there is no grade to windows Mobile 8! All this in a space of 24 hours upon buying the device!
Posted: 2012-07-25 @ 9:05pm PT
Microsoft went and shot themselves in the face again just like Vista. They really are stupid when it comes to marketing. They just killed what little marketshare they had.
Posted: 2012-07-18 @ 7:38pm PT
You cannot go wrong for that price. 7.5 Windows gets the job done. For 2 yrs, it's ok.
Posted: 2012-07-18 @ 4:50pm PT
That's ridiculous! I don't blame Nokia. I blame Microsoft for screwing everyone again.