By Alexandra Burlacu | Sep 29, 2012 10:19 AM EDT
Nokia unveiled details about European marketing plans for its Lumia 920 and 820 Windows Phone 8 smartphones on Sept. 27, and the prices are already stirring controversy.
European pricing is typically higher than U.S. pricing, and carrier subsidies will most likely lower these prices when the devices hit the market. These early numbers, however, suggest that Nokia's flagship WP8 smartphones will cost about the same as handsets from more established smartphone manufacturers. This may pose problems for Nokia, as the company is relying on the new Lumias to recoup lost market share. Once the world's top phone maker, Nokia now needs a strong hit to break its downward slide, and the best way to do that is to offer competitive pricing.
The unsubsidized price of the high-end flagship Lumia 920 is around $800, based on Thursday's exchange rate, with prices varying slightly among European countries. An $800 price tag puts the Lumia 920 in direct competition with premium smartphones such as the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3, whose price is noticeably higher than the unsubsidized cost of other high-end Android smartphones. Meanwhile, the mid-range Lumia 820 costs roughly $650 unsubsidized.
Nokia Germany is pricing the unsubsidized Lumia 920 at 649 euro (roughly $836), while the mid-tier Lumia 820 will cost 499 euro (About $642). Nokia Italy is offering slightly lower prices, with the Lumia 920 at 599 euro (around $771). Meanwhile, Nokia Russia has announced the Lumia 920 will cost 24,990 rubles (around $803) and the Lumia 820 will cost 19,990 rubles (around $643). In Sweden, the 32GB Lumia 920 will sell for roughly 5,700 Swedish crowns (about $860).
Nokia did not offer pricings for the UK yet, but ZDNet's Ben Woods has been "reliably informed" the Lumia 920's price tag would be close to that in Italy, suggesting it would cost somewhere around 475 pounds SIM-free.
By comparison, an unsubsidized Samsung Galaxy S3 costs $550 in the U.S., 449 pounds (around $728) in the UK, and between 490 and 530 euro (around $630 to $682) in Italy and Germany. Meanwhile, an unsubsidized iPhone 5 starts at $650 in the U.S. and at 529 pounds (around $857) in the UK.
The forthcoming Lumia smartphones bearing Microsoft's WP8 software will hit shelves in Germany and Italy in mid-November, and go on sale in Sweden, Russia, and Denmark during the fourth quarter.
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