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Nokia and EE clarify Nokia Lumia 920/820 availability in UK [Updated]

There was a bit of confusion yesterday over conflicting information from various sources regarding availability of Nokia’s new Windows Phone 8 handsets in the United Kingdom. Depending on who you spoke to, you may well have got contradictory answers regarding SIM-free sales, availability dates and even pricing.

Rather than keep playing Chinese whispers, we've gone straight to the source, contacting both Nokia and EE directly to get some definitive details on these issues, to answer some of the most important questions for those hoping to get their hands on the new device.

Will it be possible to buy a Lumia 920 off-contract?
Yes. Phones4U will sell the device without a SIM card for those who don’t require a contract. However, Phones4U will be selling what’s been described to us “an EE variant of the Lumia 920” that will only work with Orange, T-Mobile and EE SIM cards. As previously reported, this off-contract 920 will be sold by Phones4U for £459.95.

Can I buy the Lumia 920 from somewhere other than Phones4U or EE?
No. EE is the exclusive carrier and Phones4U the exclusive retailer for the device in the UK.

Will there be an end to this exclusivity arrangement?
Nokia says that it will review the current arrangements ‘later this quarter’.

If the Lumia 920 is exclusive to EE, does that mean I have to get a 4G tariff?
No. EE has confirmed to us that the 920 will also be offered through its 3G carrier brands, Orange and T-Mobile.

How much will the Lumia 920 cost on a 3G tariff?
Customers on Orange will be able to purchase the device for £49.99 upfront on the Panther Extra plan at £36 per month; T-Mobile customers can get one for £49.00 upfront on the £36pm Full Monty tariff. T-Mobile’s Full Monty tariff also include unlimited data. Other price plans are available on both carriers; upfront device charges may vary.

When will the Lumia 920 be available to buy?
You can order a Lumia 920 on contract from Phones4U right now, for delivery on (6 November) 13 November. Orders are available via EE’s website right now, but won't be delivered until 9 November (although the EE site advises that you allow up to two weeks for delivery). T-Mobile and Orange will begin offering the device on 9 November.

The first 500 customers who successfully complete an order from a 920 from Phones4U's website will get a free Nokia Play 360 Speaker.

Customers who purchase either a Lumia 920 or Lumia 820 from Phones4U before the end of this year will additionally be eligible for a free Wireless Charging Plate, which will need to be redeemed via a special promotional website. As Chris Field (@mrcfield) noted earlier today, this website is currently looking a little...empty.

Nokia also confirmed to us that every Nokia Lumia 820 in the UK will indeed include a free Wireless Charging Shell, as previously reported.

Meanwhile, SIM-free Lumia 820s – which, unlike the 920, are fully unlocked and can be used on any operator – will be available from a variety of sources, including high street retailers Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U, and Expansys and Amazon on the web.

Carphone Warehouse has now opened pre-orders for the Lumia 820 on its website for £379.95, with free delivery. The handset is also available free with no upfront charges from CPW on price plans costing £29 per month and up, from multiple operators.

Additionally, luxury retailer Selfridges today announced an exclusive pre-order package for the Lumia 820. If you order your handset at the Carphone Warehouse concession inside Selfridges' flagship London store before 9 November, you'll receive a free Nokia Purity Pro headset, worth £199.

All in all, there's plenty of options to get your paws on a Lumia 820, both on- and off-contract, and promotional opportunities to take advantage of with both the 820 and 920, to sweeten the deal that little bit more.

Many thanks to Neowin member Muessig for letting us know that the Carphone Warehouse pre-order page is now live again!

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