If you’re like me and desperately awaiting the arrival of the new Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, Nokia Italy has announced over its Twitter account that both flagship Windows 8-powered phone will be available from mid-November, for 599 euros (MYR2,500) and 499 euros (RM2,100) respectively.
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Vodafone, TIM, Wind and TRE are expected to carry those devices.
Italy is the second country after Australia to officially announce the availability of the phones and list of carriers who would be bringing them to market. For Australia, pricing and availability dates will be announced in the end of October.
In an earlier posting from Engadget, the Lumia 920 is expected to be launched in November in Italy and Germany at an inflated price of 649 euros (MYR2,700). The Lumia 820 remains at 499 euros.
No word on availability in Malaysia or other Far East countries yet.
Personally, as debated over Twitter with several people including Malaysian Wireless‘ Kugan aka @scamboy and Nokiaku‘s @asrialbaker (he’s a trueblue Nokia fanboy!), availability and price point is paramount for Nokia if it wants to capture marketshare. Nokia seems to be playing the premium trump card and pricing the Lumia 920 above its competitors in the Android and iOS space.
While a solid product offering, without a doubt, Nokia may find the LUMIA 920’s 599 euro price point overly optimistic, putting it out of reach for many who may be looking for alternatives to Apple’s iPhone 5, or Samsung GALAXY S III.
Nokia also needs to be cautious about its close competitors in the Windows Phone 8 space, namely HTC who has previewed its HTC Windows Phone 8X and 8S phones recently. Nokia is no longer exclusive to Microsoft, as demonstrated with the recent handholding with HTC.
Nokia also has the phone monolith Samsung to contend with. The multi-talented Samsung factory should not be under-estimated. Samsung may have chosen mostly to ignore the Windows Phone space, adopting a sit-and-wait strategy, but looking at its platform-averse nature, expect the Korean electronics giant to put some muscle behind WP8 when it feels the time is right. For a giant, Samsung is awfully nimble. Samsung has already previewed the Windows 8 ATIV tablet and Windows Phone 8 ATIV S smartphone recently.
Nokia makes great hardware and the new LUMIA family is a testimony of its prowess. Let’s hope it plays its cards right, especially at this juncture which I consider a make-or-break for the once-dominant Norwegian phone company.
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