Nokia: We need even cheaper Windows Phones

Last week, at Mobile World Congress, Nokia announced the latest and cheapest addition to its range of Windows Phones, the Lumia 610. Aggressively priced at €189 EUR ($250 USD / £158 GBP), the handset is the first of a new wave of handsets from numerous manufacturers running Windows Phone ‘Tango’, a version of the mobile operating system optimised for low-end devices with entry-level spec sheets.

But even before that device goes on sale, the company is talking about the need to make its Windows Phone handsets even cheaper, if it is to successfully take on Android. Nokia executive vice president Niklas Savander told Pocket-lint that the company has “a lot riding on the fact that we need to get a lower price point”.

The problem facing Nokia is that Google’s Android OS is so successful across a vast range of price points, from flagship devices like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, all the way down to ultra-low-cost handsets that have opened up smartphone ownership to huge numbers of new owners. Savander explained: “Android is in many markets at the 100 euro price already, so that would suggest that if we are at 189 euro with the Lumia 610, we still have work to do when it comes to creating a lower-end first time user smartphone.”

Of course, it’s not all about Android – the company’s own Symbian platform (now known as Nokia Belle) is coming to the end of its life too. Nokia Belle currently occupies the middle ground between the company’s Series 40 feature phones and the pricier Windows Phones, and Nokia has made no secret of its wish to remove Belle from the equation entirely.

Savander added: “Symbian is doing a very good job in capturing that first time smartphone user, but the platform is of course aging, and the functionality isn’t evolving as rapidly as it should, and so we of course need to continue to push the price of handsets down when it comes to the low-end.”

But he was insistent that a low-end Windows Phone doesn’t have to mean a poor quality experience: “You have to be very much into multiple applications and everything open at the same time before you can see the engineering cuts that Microsoft has made [with Windows Phone Tango] to run it in lower memory for example”, a reference to the Lumia 610’s relatively modest 256MB of RAM, which is expected to be typical of most Tango handsets.


Image via Nokia

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Since Samsung announced the Galaxy Pocket, this seems to fall right in line.

Way to go Nokia for telling us what the industry demonstrates.

Nokia needs to understand that a phone sales for what new features it brings to the market and not by how many features it leaves out in order to make it cheaper.

Stratigic stand-point, I can understand why Nokia wants a cheaper Windows Phone, but the timing must be right to do this. In my own opinion, I'll wait for it until a few months after the release of Windows 8.

I like the idea. It'll allow more people to get smartphones which is nice. Plus they'd sell as a lower-power Windows Phone would likely still have less lag than a low-end Android.

yeah ,.. we need around or near INR ₹ 5,000 would be a reasonable price i guess.
they should .. Nokia is well known for this.. they always try to reach every person in the world.
I hope they will bring affordable Windows Phone for people.

DesiSpark said,
yeah ,.. we need around or near INR ₹ 5,000 would be a reasonable price i guess.
they should .. Nokia is well known for this.. they always try to reach every person in the world.
I hope they will bring affordable Windows Phone for people.


Ok..keep dreaming. You will never get a windows phone for 5000 rupe.

DesiSpark said,
yeah ,.. we need around or near INR ₹ 5,000 would be a reasonable price i guess.
they should .. Nokia is well known for this.. they always try to reach every person in the world.
I hope they will bring affordable Windows Phone for people.

Nokia will be selling Lumia 610 at Rs 11000. But INR 5000 is bit of a stretch IMHO.

DesiSpark said,
yeah ,.. we need around or near INR ₹ 5,000 would be a reasonable price i guess.
they should .. Nokia is well known for this.. they always try to reach every person in the world.
I hope they will bring affordable Windows Phone for people.


Thats like 100 USD

So they want to bring back (hardware) fragmentation just like the era of Windows Mobile 6 and now currently Android? I don't think Microsoft want a repeat of Windows Mobile.

Billus said,
So they want to bring back (hardware) fragmentation just like the era of Windows Mobile 6 and now currently Android? I don't think Microsoft want a repeat of Windows Mobile.

You hardly have to worry about "hardware fragmentation" when the software still functions the same. SOFTWARE fragmentation would be a problem (And IS for Android).

M_Lyons10 said,

You hardly have to worry about "hardware fragmentation" when the software still functions the same. SOFTWARE fragmentation would be a problem (And IS for Android).

Sometimes I think if Tango were called Mango Lite, people would not jump to the conclusion that Tango fosters fragmentation. I know it sounds silly, but just a thought. Personally, the 710 was low enough and did not warrant a weaker version of Mango. People in emerging markets can and should save up just a wee bit more to get the 710. The cost of employing people to "go as low as you can go" by developing Tango and the subsequent marketing and other costs seems ridic. It's just not worth it.

It's nice to hear that they're going to continue trying to drive the cost down. The more people that enter the market with entry level devices, the more higher end devices will be sold as they upgrade to those...

but the Lumia 610 is actually pretty cheap already. I'm pretty sure people from Indonesia, Philippines, and even China and India would be able to afford it.

FalseAgent said,
but the Lumia 610 is actually pretty cheap already. I'm pretty sure people from Indonesia, Philippines, and even China and India would be able to afford it.

$250 is still not cheap. In many places $30 Nokia phones are still very popular.

dagamer34 said,
Microsoft and Nokia want lower price points but they do not seem willing to sacrifice device performance to do so.

Which is awesome and the way it should be.

M_Lyons10 said,

Hm... Leave it to Verizon. Nothing like tieing your cart to a single horse... It's a shame. I'm not sure what happened, but Verizon's current head is a bit of a moron...

There is a reason why Verizon wants all 4G LTE phones. They want to shut off the 3G CDMA network by 2015. They can't do that if they continue to sell brand new 3G smartphones. So if you think that is a stupid move, you shouldn't ever be in charge of anything since you don't have the foresight needed to accomplish such a task.

Currently, Verizon phones that are 4G LTE capable have to authenticate with the network twice. Once with the CDMA network, the other with the GSM network.

That is the main culprit with a lot of the 4G LTE down time issues that we have experienced in the past.

I am sorry, but if it means selling a 3G smartphone to keep a few Microsoft fanboys happy or providing a better network, I will choose the latter.

UndergroundWire said,

There is a reason why Verizon wants all 4G LTE phones. They want to shut off the 3G CDMA network by 2015. They can't do that if they continue to sell brand new 3G smartphones. So if you think that is a stupid move, you shouldn't ever be in charge of anything since you don't have the foresight needed to accomplish such a task.

Currently, Verizon phones that are 4G LTE capable have to authenticate with the network twice. Once with the CDMA network, the other with the GSM network.

That is the main culprit with a lot of the 4G LTE down time issues that we have experienced in the past.

I am sorry, but if it means selling a 3G smartphone to keep a few Microsoft fanboys happy or providing a better network, I will choose the latter.


So how are Verizon's current LTE phones suppose to make calls?

illegaloperation said,

So how are Verizon's current LTE phones suppose to make calls?

When Verizon launched its LTE network in November of 2010, it was the first time the carrier had utilized a GSM-based (WCDMA, as opposed to CDMA2000) network in the United States. All Verizon phones and data-enabled devices had previously run on CDMA2000 connections - the network responsible for Verizon's 3G and 2G data. CDMA2000 uses an older authentication system (identifying and OK'ing your device to connect to the data network). Verizon's new 4G LTE network uses a newer, different, and more robust scheme to authenticate devices.

So, in an attempt to smooth out the transition to the new technology (Verizon intends to decommission its 3G network in most areas eventually) and ensure handsets used uniform schemes to connect to any part of the data network, Verizon essentially made it a network directive that all 4G LTE devices would use a single authentication system for both 3G and 4G data connectivity. They did this by requiring all 4G devices use UICC SIM cards, which allow for authentication on many types of networks.

This is what your 4G LTE UICC SIM card does - it's responsible for authenticating you on both Verizon's 3G and 4G networks. Verizon 3G-only phones use the old authentication system, because they don't have these SIM cards. Verizon is the only carrier in the US currently operating on this somewhat odd mixture of authentication schemes and network technologies. This means there are now millions of devices connecting to Verizon's 3G network using an authentication scheme Verizon hasn't previously utilized on that network, and (major) hiccups are occurring as a result.

UndergroundWire said,

When Verizon launched its LTE network in November of 2010, it was the first time the carrier had utilized a GSM-based (WCDMA, as opposed to CDMA2000) network in the United States. All Verizon phones and data-enabled devices had previously run on CDMA2000 connections - the network responsible for Verizon's 3G and 2G data. CDMA2000 uses an older authentication system (identifying and OK'ing your device to connect to the data network). Verizon's new 4G LTE network uses a newer, different, and more robust scheme to authenticate devices.

So, in an attempt to smooth out the transition to the new technology (Verizon intends to decommission its 3G network in most areas eventually) and ensure handsets used uniform schemes to connect to any part of the data network, Verizon essentially made it a network directive that all 4G LTE devices would use a single authentication system for both 3G and 4G data connectivity. They did this by requiring all 4G devices use UICC SIM cards, which allow for authentication on many types of networks.

This is what your 4G LTE UICC SIM card does - it's responsible for authenticating you on both Verizon's 3G and 4G networks. Verizon 3G-only phones use the old authentication system, because they don't have these SIM cards. Verizon is the only carrier in the US currently operating on this somewhat odd mixture of authentication schemes and network technologies. This means there are now millions of devices connecting to Verizon's 3G network using an authentication scheme Verizon hasn't previously utilized on that network, and (major) hiccups are occurring as a result.


I already know what you said and about eHRPD, but you still haven't answer my question.

UndergroundWire said,

There is a reason why Verizon wants all 4G LTE phones. They want to shut off the 3G CDMA network by 2015. They can't do that if they continue to sell brand new 3G smartphones. So if you think that is a stupid move, you shouldn't ever be in charge of anything since you don't have the foresight needed to accomplish such a task.

Currently, Verizon phones that are 4G LTE capable have to authenticate with the network twice. Once with the CDMA network, the other with the GSM network.

That is the main culprit with a lot of the 4G LTE down time issues that we have experienced in the past.

I am sorry, but if it means selling a 3G smartphone to keep a few Microsoft fanboys happy or providing a better network, I will choose the latter.

Nice theory until you get to the part that VZ just released the iphone 4S which is not LTE I might add.

illegaloperation said,

I already know what you said and about eHRPD, but you still haven't answer my question.

I did. You don't make phone calls on Data. READ BETWEEN THE LINES. They are shutting the data part down not what is used for phone calls.

On a side note, Verizon is testing out a VoIP on their 4G LTE. I believe it is called vLTE. Not 100% sure on the name.

divdebyzero said,

Nice theory until you get to the part that VZ just released the iphone 4S which is not LTE I might add.

It's not a theory. Verizon has stated that much already. Apple is the exception to the rule because people want Apple. The other exception is Push to Talk devices since they only run on 3G networks (for now).

I'm sorry that you only get your tech news from this site, but this has been covered to death on much better sites than this.

So what you need to know is if you are not Apple and you are not a push to talk phone, ALL DEVICE BEING RELEASED IN 2012 ON VERIZON's NETWORK MUST BE 4G LTE.

UndergroundWire said,

There is a reason why Verizon wants all 4G LTE phones. They want to shut off the 3G CDMA network by 2015. They can't do that if they continue to sell brand new 3G smartphones. So if you think that is a stupid move, you shouldn't ever be in charge of anything since you don't have the foresight needed to accomplish such a task.

Currently, Verizon phones that are 4G LTE capable have to authenticate with the network twice. Once with the CDMA network, the other with the GSM network.

That is the main culprit with a lot of the 4G LTE down time issues that we have experienced in the past.

I am sorry, but if it means selling a 3G smartphone to keep a few Microsoft fanboys happy or providing a better network, I will choose the latter.

Verizon doesn't have a 4G network, it's LTE yes, but LTE doesn't fall under 4G, it's pre-4G. Lte-advanced is real 4G and that's still in testing and not deployed in any country worldwide.

Technically Verizon runs on 3G infrastructure, so no issues there either.

gfffff said,

Verizon doesn't have a 4G network, it's LTE yes, but LTE doesn't fall under 4G, it's pre-4G. Lte-advanced is real 4G and that's still in testing and not deployed in any country worldwide.

Technically Verizon runs on 3G infrastructure, so no issues there either.

You clearly don't know what you are talking about. Verizon runs on both a CDMA 3G network infrastructure and a 4G LTE GSM infrastructure. Right there it tells you it is a different system completely. Verizon NEVER had a GSM network. They may have had world phones with a SIM card before but it wasn't for their network, it was a deal they had with Vodafone.

Your debate about 4G is misinformed like most of the foolish people on this site who side with you on it. The ITU said LTE is 4G as long as it is stated as such. So Verizon can't call it a 4G network but they can call it a 4G LTE network. When LTE Advanced is rolled out, it can be called simply 4G.

Clearly you are pulling things out of thin air. May I suggest getting your tech news stories from any other site but here. It seems that maybe your issue on why you are so uninformed. Or maybe you like to read headlines and you think you've summed up the story. Whatever it is, it's clearly not working.