Phones offered cheap just a month after launch
Nokia‘s Lumia WP8 smartphones were being sold at a discount in the USA immediately after Xmas, it has emerged, placing a question over whether the Finnish manufacturer’s Q4 results due to be released later this month [January 2013] needed a last minute bolster. The results, due out on January 24th, should show if the strategy by Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop to adopt Microsoft’s WP8 operating system is paying off, all the more so as the quarterly earnings report will cover the crucial run-up to Xmas.
But according to the Wall Street Journal, Nokia’s flagship Lumia range could already be bought at discount prices just a month after their launch.
In some instances, they were even being offered free through some US carriers.
Nokia, whose share price on Nasdaq currently hovers around the $3.95 mark but which commanded ten times that price back in 2008, has been forced into massive lay-offs as its phones were out-sold by rivals.
Particularly those made by Apple and manufacturers backing Google’s mobile operating system -Android.
It led to a decision by chief executive Stephen Elop, himself a former Microsoft executive, to gamble everything on the success of a new range of smartphones running WP8 – a ploy which, if unsuccessful, leaves him with little room for manoeuvre.
According to the Wall street Journal, meanwhile, the flagship Lumia 920 – launched by AT&T in November with a price tag of $99 – can now be snapped up online at Amazon for a mere $39 by buyers willing to take out a contract with the US carrier.
Similarly, the Lumia 822 comes free with a contract from rival operator Verizon, owned in part by Britain’s Vodafone.
T-Mobile USA is similarly given the Lumia 810 away free with a contract.
Nokia has responded by saying that pricing remains a carrier decision, though it still remains unclear what is behind the heavy discounting – be it hidden subsidies from either Nokia or Microsoft, or simply Lumia’s lack of popularity.
The answer, and Nokia’s fate, should be clearer when the manufacturer’s Q4 results are unveiled in just over three weeks’ time.