Nokia is desperately trying to save itself from the deteriorating situation the company is in. The announcements of the both the Lumia 920 and the 820 is Nokia’s latest push with Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform to try and regain lost market share from Apple and Samsung. The handsets are well designed and are overflowing with hardware and software features that should get even the most die hard Android and Apple fanboy excited.
However, there’s a huge problem here that might not work in Nokia’s favor, and that is the price of the devices. If Nokia is to have any form of success in a market it no longer controls, the company must continue on the path it set with the Lumia 900, and that is to price these smartphones to sell like chocolate flavored cupcakes. Sure, the Lumia 900 didn’t sell as Nokia would have liked, but who expected a handset that paled in comparison hardware wise to majority of the Android handsets out at the time.
Recently, Nokia unveiled details of the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 European launch prices, and from what was mentioned, it is not looking good for the Finnish giant. The Lumia 920 will go on sale for roughly $800, while the less capable Lumia 820 will hit the $650 mark. When compared to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5, the flagship Nokia Lumia 920 is more expensive, while the Lumia 820 is just a little bit cheaper.
Trying to compete with well established smartphones that are doing really well at a higher price point is not the way to regain control of the smartphone market. No doubt, consumers are highly interested in the Lumia line of Windows Phone 8 devices, but cool hardware and software features alone won’t be enough to get consumers in the mind set to go out and purchase a Lumia when a Samsung Galaxy S3 or an iPhone is cheaper.
Both the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 has one major thing in common, Android and iOS ecosystem is far more compelling than that of Windows Phone 8. The vast amount of applications one can find on iTunes or the Android Market puts the Windows Phone Marketplace to shame, and from what I understand, a powerful ecosystem is very important to the smartphone consumer.
Adding salt to injury, HTC announced the pricing of its own Windows Phone 8 devices, the HTC 8X and 8S. Both handsets are considerably cheaper than Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 Lumia devices. Samsung not too long ago made known the pricing for its ATIV S Windows Phone 8 handset, and guess what? That’s right, it is also considerably cheaper than Nokia’s own offerings. These OEMs know it is pointless to compete with Nokia on the same price level, since Nokia is in bed with Microsoft and is the only OEM that possesses the abilities to bring new and exciting things to Windows Phone 8. Instead, pricing handsets cheaper than Nokia is the best way to surprise the once dominant force in the smartphone biz.
Nokia’s Lumia branded Windows Phone 8 devices are getting a lot of buzz, but one has to wonder, who will purchase these handsets? More than likely, it will be die hard Nokia fans and the folks who scour the internet chanting their support for Nokia. However, the average Joe couldn’t care less about some of the features that are in a smartphone, what matters most is the price and reliability of the device. Once the price is just right, it highly likely anyone would go for it.
What is Nokia to do? Simple, drop the price of both devices. Nokia is not Apple, there is no way the company can slap a high price on a smartphone and hope to sell 5 million in a single day. Moreover, Windows Phone 8 is not at that point as yet where high priced premium devices can do well in a market controlled by iPhones and Androids. The consensus here is to start small then rise once the operating system has reached critical mass in the hands of consumers. As it stands, Widows Phone 8 is far from hitting that mark; however, it can happen if OEMs like Nokia are smart about how devices are priced. As it stands now, I have to go out on the limb here and classify the Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 as dead before arrival, harsh, but this is the reality of it all.