Nokia wants to launch even cheaper Lumia Windows Phones

Earlier today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Nokia announced two new Lumia smartphones running Windows Phone 8. One of them is the Lumia 520, which is the cheapest Lumia product released by Nokia so far at 139 euros (about $185). The Lumia 520 is a fully capable Windows Phone 8 device, but it may not be as inexpensive as Nokia can go.

Hans Henrik Lund, Nokia's vice president of smart devices marketing, spoke with CNET during the MWC and told the outlet, "I believe 139 [euros] is not the lowest price point we can get to. We can go lower."

Even if Nokia offers up some ultra-cheap Windows Phone 8 devices, that doesn't mean that the company will ditch its high-end smartphones such as the Nokia Lumia 920, as Lund said the company's future involves "having a family including devices at all price points."

Lund also admitted that Microsoft's decision to not allow older Windows Phone 7 devices to get an upgrade to Windows Phone 8 likely dented some of the trust that people have in the Nokia brand. He did say that sales of the Lumia 920 have been strong in the U.S. but would not reveal exact figures.

What about the rumors that Nokia could launch an aluminum smartphone? Lund said, "If it turns out that having an aluminum design is the best option then that's something we will look at. We're still loyal to the material choice and colors. 50 per cent of Nokia's sales are coloured."

Source: CNET

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Nexus 4 doesn't offer LTE, which is quite a big difference on AT&T and Verizon (and the reason Verizon won't sell it, as they only sell LTE phones). The Nexus 4 does stuff in better hardware with its quad core processor and 2 GB of RAM, but throwing hardware at a problem really only shows that there is a problem. Where it matters, the Lumia 920 has 32 GB of storage compared to the 8 GB/16 GB configurations.

I'd say the $100 on-contract price for the 920 is pretty solid. And even its $450 off contract is pretty good too. The Nexus 4 is an odd mix of high-end and budget that works well for it, but the 920 is solidly in the high-end category.

pickypg said,
The Nexus 4 does stuff in better hardware with its quad core processor and 2 GB of RAM, but throwing hardware at a problem really only shows that there is a problem.

You are assuming that just because the Nexus 4 has high-end specs, there must be a problem. Android 4.1/4.2 can easily run smoothly on a single-core Snapdragon S1 (assuming at least 512 MB RAM and no misbehaving third-party apps) - a feat WP seems to have trouble replicating.

Not to turn this into a ****ing match, but my single core, WP7-based Lumia 900 runs perfectly smoothly. Now, I don't use it in favor of my dual core, WP8-based Lumia 920 anymore, but my fiancee still uses her single core Lumia 800 sporting 512 MB of RAM.

WP8 does not need dual core processors, but it does benefit from them just like practically every other device. And the low end of WP8 runs quite smoothly on the lower clocked processors with just 512 MB. Apps are always going to be a different beast, and that's why Microsoft finally accepted that they needed dual core processors and more RAM. As Nokia has demonstrated three times now with the 520, 620 and 720, OEMs are free to stick weaker hardware in while still getting smooth results, but they simply do not qualify as high end phones anymore.

Quite frankly, the implication that Android runs better on weaker hardware is laughable when compared to either iOS or WP. I would think that even the staunchest Android supporter would recognize that.

pickypg said,
Not to turn this into a ****ing match, but my single core, WP7-based Lumia 900 runs perfectly smoothly. Now, I don't use it in favor of my dual core, WP8-based Lumia 920 anymore, but my fiancee still uses her single core Lumia 800 sporting 512 MB of RAM.

You mean WP7, a last-gen OS based on a kernel over a decade old, running smoothly on a single-core processor is equivalent to the latest version of Android running smoothly on a single-core processor? There's your problem right there.

pickypg said,
Quite frankly, the implication that Android runs better on weaker hardware is laughable when compared to either iOS or WP. I would think that even the staunchest Android supporter would recognize that.

That's your claim. And until we see WP8 running on devices as low-end as Android, it's going to remain an unproven one.

No, it's not his claim, everyone knows that besides you it seems. There's a reason why other OEM's throw hardware at it like candy to a kid but somehow Nokia keeps out of the hardware race. If Nokia wanted they could sport a quad core easily into the 920 but they didn't as the OS doesn't need it.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
No, it's not his claim, everyone knows that besides you it seems. There's a reason why other OEM's throw hardware at it like candy to a kid but somehow Nokia keeps out of the hardware race. If Nokia wanted they could sport a quad core easily into the 920 but they didn't as the OS doesn't need it.

Lol, so if the Lumia 920 doesn't have a quad-core CPU because it "doesn't need it", why does EVERY single WP8 device have dual-core CPUs if WP8 "doesn't need it"?

If the best argument you can come up with is a cop-out along the lines of "everyone knows", I rest my case.

Because having a dual core processor allows things to be done in the background, while having a single core processor does not (Hyper-Threading Intel processors excepted). It is simply to improve the user's experience.

With a single core processor, you are truly at the whims of ordered processing. Even the simplest tasks, like typing on a keyboard, are forced to block the user in order to do what should be background tasks, like autocorrect or suggestions.

This is a hardware limitation imposed upon developers, like myself, and it's the obvious reason to move to dual core processors. With more cores, then more things can be done in parallel, but generally at the expense of battery life and clock speed.

Having a single core isn't the end of the world in my Lumia 900, but it is very common to find cases where truly parallel processing comes in handy. Particularly beyond two cores, moving up the number of cores is simply a trade off of battery life and background processing, which is less relevant in phones once you get dual core processors (hence even the iPhone still being dual core).

Android is known for having a lot of background tasks because it has a "more true" processing model for applications, which allows them to truly run in the background as opposed to the Background Processing APIs that exist for both iOS and WP, which limit what can be done when your app is not running in the foreground. This does provide Android some added flexibility, but at the expense of battery life and general performance because the scheduler may be working with processes that do not deserve to be running.

One thing of note, the 720 is another unibody design like the 920 but it's also the first one with a microSD slot. This could very well be a indication of a future 92x device on Verizon with the same slot later this year.

^
Nokia 920 is still a good sale. I don't think they want to announce high end phone to stop people from buying Nokia 920 yet.

Agreed. It's too soon to beat their own high end. It has only been out for 4 months after all. Still, I wish they would announce whatever is working through the FCC for Verizon. Hopefully it's their 920, and I hope it looks the same.

$99 USD is the sweet spot.
If they can hit that and sell it next to the crappy android phones that retail for <$99 will look quite compelling by comparison.

FoxieFoxie said,
It's just a matter of time before we see Nokia abandoning Asha in favor of WP

New wave of Asha touch devices are coming. They will probably launch at Nokia World or may be a little earlier. Today evleaks leaked a preview of an upcoming device that brings the touch range into Fabula design territory.
https://mobile.twitter.com/evl.../305871307436875776/photo/1

The current touch screen Ashas are about an year old. There is also talk in the Nokia community that S40 will be getting substantial updates soon by Nokia leveraging their Smarterphone acquisition and the scrapped Meltemi project. Many of what was planned for it is supposed to be incorporated to S40. The current Asha touch devices are in the 3500 to 6000 INR price range here in India and offers a good user experience. I don't think WP will reach these price points any time soon. Nokia is also currently pushing webapps on S40 and conducting workshops etc. So I think they're committed to it for now.

Edited by liju, Feb 25 2013, 4:59pm :