No SIM-free Lumia 920 in UK, but all 820s get wireless charging shell [Update 2: SIM-free available, locked to EE]

With this week’s Windows Phone 8 launch, we finally got our first official info on pricing and availability for the first wave of devices running the new OS. In addition to launch info for the US, Microsoft also shared some pricing details for operators in the UK, highlighting what it calls ‘unprecedented support’ from carriers on this side of the Atlantic.

While operators, OEMs and retailers will be releasing more specific details in the days ahead, Nokia has revealed a few more details to WPCentral on the availability of its devices in the UK.

Those hoping to get their hands on a SIM-free Lumia 920 are going to be disappointed. Under its exclusivity deal with the EE network, Nokia has agreed terms that will initially restrict all UK sales of its new flagship handset to purchases made under contract through EE. However, if you’re not a fan of EE’s new 4G tariffs, the good news is that the 920 will also be available on tariffs through EE’s 3G network brands, Orange and T-Mobile; the latter offers unlimited data with its Full Monty price plans, which are not available on its new 4G network, which launched yesterday.

The 920 will be available from 2 November, with black and white models available directly from EE, while Phones4U will offer these, as well as red and yellow colour options. While Phones4U is an authorised retailer of the Lumia 920, it will only be permitted to sell the device on contracts with EE brands. This exclusivity arrangement is set to expire at the end of the year, although Nokia told WPCentral that it may potentially be extended.

The Lumia 820, with its colourful interchangeable shells, will enjoy much wider availability when it goes on sale on 7 November. EE (including 4GEE, T-Mobile and Orange), O2 and Vodafone will all offer the device directly, while Phones4U, Carphone Warehouse and Tesco Phone Shop will also stock the new handset.

Excitingly, all UK buyers of the Lumia 820 will get a wireless charging shell included in the box; Nokia has previously indicated that in other markets, this shell will be sold as a separate accessory. There’s no information yet on SIM-free UK pricing for the 820.

While the lack of off-contract sales will surely disappoint some, UK consumers still have plenty to celebrate here, with only a few days left to wait until the new Lumias are available to buy.

Source: WPCentral


Update: WPCentral have updated their article to clarify that Phones4U will offer the Lumia 920 SIM-free for £459.95. Many thanks to Neowin reader Giles Jones who pointed out this image showing in-store signage confirming the off-contract pricing:

Update 2: In a Q&A session on Twitter today, Nokia UK clarified that, even if you purchase a SIM-free Lumia 920 from Phones4U, the handset will still be locked to EE:

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33 Comments

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I would have to say that having studied the workings of Offcom during my media course, their willingness to give monopoly status of a technology to an individual company is quite a disturbing shift in their behaviour.

gorebrush said,
I see - well in that case I will be getting one

Stupid exclusivity though - that sucks donkey balls.


Agreed.

So wait a minute - even if I buy it Sim-free - it is still locked to EE? Then my friends, this is not a sim-free phone.

Nokia just lost a customer - there is no way I am buying a phone tied to EE. I'll take my £500 and go and buy a HTC 8X instead. kthxbye.

gorebrush said,
So wait a minute - even if I buy it Sim-free - it is still locked to EE? Then my friends, this is not a sim-free phone.

Nokia just lost a customer - there is no way I am buying a phone tied to EE. I'll take my £500 and go and buy a HTC 8X instead. kthxbye.

Read my post mate... Phones4U have confirmed that sim-free also means network unlocked.

A phone should only be locked to a specific carrier until the consumer has payed the full price.
You should be able to buy a phone for the full price and put any carrier's SIM into it.
Which phones a carrier sells for subsitized prices is up to the carrier. But the carrier must also sell it for the full price, unlocked.
Simple rules, everyone will be happy.
I'm glad that this is how it works in Sweden.

Guys, update your story again...the sim-free phone will NOT be locked to EE, though the advisor I spoke to had no idea when the website would have the sim-free version available.


info: Thank you for choosing Phones4U. A Sales Advisor will be with you shortly.
In accepting this Live Chat you are confirming that you are over 18 years of age.
info: You are now connected with Amy Jo.

Amy Jo: Hello, you're chatting with Amy Jo, a Phones4U Sales Advisor, may I take your name please?
You: hi Amy, my name is Ryan Spooner.
Amy Jo: Hi
Amy Jo: How can I help you today?
You: can you please tell me if you'll be selling the Lumia 920 sim-free. and if sim-free also means network unlocked too?
Amy Jo: sim free does mean networked unlocked yes so you can use any network, we dont currently have any info on selling it sim free and have tariffs on EE only
You: your in-store signage does say sim-free available for £459.95 though, is this not the case?
Amy Jo: we are the online store, if the store are selling it for that much it would just be a case of purchasing instore
You: ahh, so it's a left hand/right hand kind of arrangement well thanks for your time
Amy Jo: sort of yes, your welcme
You: bye for now
Amy Jo: Thank you for chatting with me today. Phones4U really values your feedback. Please click the "End Chat" button at top right to answer a few questions about your experience with us today. Have an excellent day!

This is a joke. I went to a phones4u store yesterday and specifically asked whether the SIM free would be available for other network and the sales guy confirmed the phone could be used on any network - again, I specifically asked for this as i'm on a Vodafone corporate contract (switching is not an option for me !)
This launch is just a massive clusterf*ck.

Nokia are hopeless... their own "ask the experts" Q&A going on on Facebook right now just stated... "We're currently unaware of any operator/retailer plans to sell the Lumia 920 SIM free right now but do check with P4U, EE, Orange & T-Mobile as they currently stock the Lumia 920. Thanks!"

To which I replied: "Nokia, you are hopelessly misinformed. Phones4U's own in-store signage clearly states the 920 will be available sim-free for £459.95. http://www.neowin.net/images/u...-lumia-920-phones4u-pos.jpg "

Jips said,
Ouch, after my purchase of a Surface, £459 is quite a lot. A lot of grovelling to the Mrs that is

Yep, I started a week or so ago

Given I would like to upgrade my current Sim free Nokia 710
If I can't get the Nokia 920 sim free, then I will more then likely get the Samsung instead.

Complete stupidity. Let's face it, Nokia need to shift some handsets and soon. They have a product I like (920) but won't sell it through my operator. I want Windows Phone 8 so I'll get a HTC instead. So this whole exclusivity arrangement simply means I won't buy a Nokia. Brilliant marketing, folks. You utter bunch of muppets.

spc1972 said,
Complete stupidity. Let's face it, Nokia need to shift some handsets and soon. They have a product I like (920) but won't sell it through my operator. I want Windows Phone 8 so I'll get a HTC instead. So this whole exclusivity arrangement simply means I won't buy a Nokia. Brilliant marketing, folks. You utter bunch of muppets.

Precisely how I feel about it. You see Nokia making decisions like this and wonder whether they actually want to sell handsets, or just want to make excuses and fail. It's bewildering.

spc1972 said,
Complete stupidity. Let's face it, Nokia need to shift some handsets and soon. They have a product I like (920) but won't sell it through my operator. I want Windows Phone 8 so I'll get a HTC instead. So this whole exclusivity arrangement simply means I won't buy a Nokia. Brilliant marketing, folks. You utter bunch of muppets.

Not sure even the Muppets would do this.

I think Nokia has little choice here if they want to sell any devices. Nokia probably needs to sell at a relative high price and without exclusivity carriers will not support or stock the device.

Overall buying on contract is still the bulk of sales. Buying off contract at full price would probably not sell enough units.

paulheu said,
I think Nokia has little choice here if they want to sell any devices. Nokia probably needs to sell at a relative high price and without exclusivity carriers will not support or stock the device.

Overall buying on contract is still the bulk of sales. Buying off contract at full price would probably not sell enough units.

Do not confuse US with the rest of the World; in Europe for example lot of people buy out of contracts because it is much more convenient....

Nokia and Microsoft should have gone easy and make The new Lumia available for every carrier... They have a huge market share to take from IOS and Android

Stupid decision. I have been looking forward to buying this phone for a while - this would have meant dumping iPhone (and subsequenty iOS) for Windows Phone. A single person wouldn't make a difference, but many people are probably put out by this from both iOS and Android. Microsoft mustn't be pleased.

To be honest I was actually disappointed with ridiculous EE 4G prices but as long as they offer 3G tariffs on T-Mobile and Orange I am happy, especially excited that the full monty plan on T-Mobile will be available for the 920