Nokia Lumia Windows 8 smartphone set for November release

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer talks about the

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer talks about the new Nokia Lumia 900 smartphone during a CES news conference. (Jan. 9, 2012) (Credit: AP)

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.


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“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, No kia 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.”
 

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