Rating: Telefónica’s Simon Lee-Smith stirs up hornets’ nest
A Telefónica executive, Simon Lee-Smith, has opened up a can of worms by telling Telecoms.com that he thinks the forthcoming W7 Mango phones “too expensive”. The European general manager for devices with Telefónica also complained that Nokia’s premium devices are “not yet at the right price point.” This has sparked a great debate as to where exactly the fault lies with Nokia wanting €420 for the Lumia 800 and Lee-Smith obviously not happy at paying such a price. Should Lee-Smith’s beef really be with Apple, not Nokia? And can Nokia really charge a premium price for Mango when the Microsoft OS clearly doesn’t merit it at the moment.Nokia’s not even first with Mango. HTC unveiled the first Mango device, the Radar, back in September .
In most markets, Samsung and Acer are also both expected to launch Mango devices well before Nokia.
So, without even a first-mover advantage, how can Nokia still expect to charge a premium for its high-end smartphones – especially the Mango based ones?
Has the company failed to notice that CEO, Stephen Elop, has been steadily wrecking the brand?
There’s been no real evidence that HTC and Samsung will be able to charge more for their Mango based smartphones than their Android based ones.
Another gripe is that while Nokias Lumia handsets are running a spanking new (well, new to Nokia) mobile OS, the design of these handsets doesn’t seem to differ radically from their alternative high-end phones.
One observer has accused the Lumias as looking like nothing else but re-cycled MeeGo (N9) designs.
GoMo News can see that Nokia should be able to charge a little extra for the ‘Gorilla’ glass because iPhone owners do tend to look silly wandering around with an expensive handset that sports a broken screen.
Actually Stephen Elop went on record back in February  (see our previous story here) saying that prices for W7 phones would fall quickly.
We took that to mean that Nokia would be charging more like the €270 it wants for the Lumia 710 model not the €420 it wants for the 800 model.
There’s also good news for Mango/Nokia fans who were hoping to get hold of one of these handsets on prepay.
Pocket Lint (a normally reliable source) has claimed that SIM-free Lumia 800s will go onsale by November 16th as originally stated.
This completely contradicts earlier reports that supplies of the SIM-free versions would be made available to phone sales companies until January 2012. See Pocket Lint‘s story here.