I can’t move for people describing the Lumia 900 as a “$100 phone”

Flipping Americans ;-)

Flipping Americans and their rubbishy mobile ecosystem!

There!

I’ve said it. I feel better already.

America’s mobile industry, like many Western counterparts, is heavily invested in the handset subsidy model. This is where an operator’s CFO takes an $800 handset and makes it “feel” like it costs $99. Or $29. Or $200. Whatever. The rest of the cost of the handset is integrated into the 2-year service agreement.

Since Nokia’s Lumia 900 launched over the weekend, I’ve been reading lots of analyst reports and news posts describing how delighted they are at the price point.

It is NOT a $100 handset. Buy it off the shelf and it’s at least £500 or around $700-800.

It winds me up. It really does.

Still, I do understand what they’re on about. A Galaxy Note from AT&T will set you back $300 up front and a 16GB iPhone 4S will require $199 immediately. So yeah, I can see why the Lumia debuting at $100 has got a lot of people excited. I find it rather frustrating that it’s all down to the initial payment — as if the market is doing its best to ensure the consumer fixates on that, instead of the heinous 24-month contract with punishing break clauses.

  • http://antoinerjwright.com Antoine RJ Wright

    And I live here and it gets on my case… I’m already past the point where the *mobile elite* are ignorant of this stuff. Maybe when truth gets back into mobile, I’ll find a place in it again.

    Shame though that a $100 smartphone doesn’t have profiles (timed or otherwise). Would have thought we’d at least have that at a lower price point now (see what the iPhone did there).

  • APai

    100% right. I get annoyed when they fight between 50 or 100 is cheaper for a phone. the goddamn phone is given on carrier subsidy, the rest of the actual cost is never discussed. what stupidity!

  • http://twitter.com/allen_cross Allen Cross

    Even in Europe — with it’s charmingly socialist approach to mobile ;-) — Espoo are up against it. Whether priced at $100 or, as we now learn, essentially free (http://goo.gl/e4G9X), Lumias won’t have an easy time in clawing away anything like a significant share of the mobile market.

    Yes, we all remember Android’s rapid ascent vs iPhone, circa 2010. But here in 2012 WindowsPhone finds itself competing with not one but two well-entrenched,
    battle-hardened ecosystems. That means prising users away from their purchased apps, integrated services and UI familiarities.

    …and to what, a painfully uncertain future? (e.g.: Will WP ever have a full suite of the top apps? Will my WP ’7.5′ handset be obsolete in 6 months?) AFter all the contests, xbox freebies and advert spends, Nokia and Microsoft would be better served in paying us to take their flippin’ handsets.

  • ajck

    I think it’s time to start accepting that publicly ditching Symbian was a huge mistake, Lumia is an ongoing failure, and Tomi Ahonen was pretty much on the mark all along. Nokia smartphone strategy is now in self-made dire straits. The only hope on the horizon is Meltemi which rumour has it is not at all only for the low end, but perfectly capable at higher levels and price points (and is also effectively Maemo 6, interestingly).

    I predict that this Windows Phone nonsense will be eventually ditched as a massive mistake.
    http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/04/nokia-profit-warning-again-here-is-what-you-need-to-know-why-it-is-actually-far-worse.html 

  • GreatLakesdan

    Tomi is a nut. Lumia sales are up 100% from 4th quarter. It just started rolling out the 900 while missing the 800 in the u.s. There are ways to split carrier costs by adding a line and sharing costs. I cant wait to buy my 900 because going through the market place I see great apps. It doesnt have the number of flashlight apps or multiple sameness apps android and apple have so I look at that as a plus with less malware and trojans fears that plague those two. I would never use Android with it basically a spy phone.

  • http://twitter.com/Bogdo milan

    Unfortunately, people here in the states are still fooled by the Free, $99, or $199 phones that the operators are peddling. I thought about switching back to AT&T to get the Lumia 900, after playing with it I loved it.  Beautiful phone and I quite like the OS.

    The reason I didn’t was that my phone bill would double.  Currently paying $50 a month on TMO for 450 Minutes, Unlimited Texting and 2GB of data. On att, the lowest calling plan would be $40 for 450 minutes (mind you i never talk on the phone, text and email 90% of the time), $30 for 3GB of LTE data which is the cheapest data plan you can get for lte, and finally, $20 a month for unlimited texting, the other option was $.10 per incommng/outgoing texts.  So, $50 a month now, or $90. The extra $960 over 2 years (not including taxes) is not worth it.  Also, att customer service is awful, just abysmal. 
     
    I’ll be sticking to my unlocked phones and cheaper plans. Always better off in the long run.

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