Lumia 920 Release Date: Nokia Under Tons of Pressure Despite Windows 8; Executive Leaves Finnish Company, Price Not Right to Compete, No 'WOW' Factor
Nokia might be running into some bigger obstacles to get the company back up and running.
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"He did not make clear whether he left of his own accord, and the company declined to comment on the circumstances of his departure," Reuters reported. "He spoke to media last month when Nokia unveiled the Lumia 920, a top-of-the-range smartphone using Windows software. At the time, investors said they were disappointed by a lack of details such as launch dates and prices."
Nurmi wrote on his alleged Twitter page, saying, "I have left Nokia. I am thankful for almost 15y there. I wish Nokia all the best and look forward to getting Lumia 920 once available."
Nokia has fell behind rivals Samsung and Apple after racking up more than 3 billion euros in operating losses in the past 18 months, according to Reuters.
The new Lumia 920 is expected to gain a lot more new customers because of its Microsoft Windows 8 software.
However, analysts are not impressed. In September, Reuters reported that the new Lumia 920 drew a thumbs down from many analysts, who felt it lacked the "wow" factor to make big inroads against rivals.
They were also unsettled by Nokia's refusal to say when the phone, and the smaller Lumia 820 models, would go on sale, or to give details on the price and operator partners.
Reuters said the same thing this time around, reporting that some analysts are saying the prices looked too high, while others are saying that one of the Lumia 920's ads misled viewers about image stabilization. The company apologized for the confusion.
The price has to be right for success.
According to Wired, Europe got numbers on Thursday.
"The unsubsidized cost of the higher-end Lumia 920 is around $800 U.S. - based on Thursday's exchange rate, and prices vary slightly between European countries. That's more than the current unsubsidized market price of competing Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III, and price-wise, puts the Lumia 920 close to the Apple's new iPhone 5. The middle-tier Lumia 820 is around $650 unsubsidized."
Prices should come down when the phones hit the U.S. market. Apple and Samsung phones are around the $200 mark, so Nokia has a lot of pressure to lead in the smartphone market.
"If Microsoft and Nokia want to see significant adoption, they must simply make the devices cheaper," says Random Salad Games, co-founder and Windows Phone developer Jake Poznanski.
Poznanski says he "suspects that Microsoft and Nokia will ensure a post-subsidy cost exactly on par with the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III, and we will continue to see a slow but steady growth of Windows Phone."
"There are two types of buyers: One that buys on price and one that buys on brand," Queens University business professor John Pliniussen told Wired. He said buyers will either come in with a budget and look for certain functionality or fall back on brand alliance and buy a familiar phone, like the iPhone, for a premium price, according to Wired.
Pliniuseen asked the key questions: "But why buy a 920? What is the lipstick on this that justifies [the price]? The case isn't prettier. It doesn't purr. I don't see it. That's why it won't work," he said. "Windows Phone 8 has the same functionality. That won't work. No one cares. You have to have something that kills Apple or Android. This doesn't kill it, this is just different."
Ovum analyst Nick Dillon spoke of the Galaxy S3 vs Lumia 920, saying, "Hardware-wise they are pretty similar, it would be hard for Nokia to justify that extra cost to consumers. Windows Phone is still largely an unknown to consumers - they would probably expect to pay less if they are taking a risk."
Despite the concern, many consumers said that they would buy the Lumia 920 because it's something new and some are getting tired of Apple products, while others like the features of Nokia's new flagship phone.
In terms of release date, the news is that for AT&T, evidence seems to point to Nov. 4. First reports said it would be Oct. 21. However, Microsoft is holding an event on Oct. 29 in California.
"The Lumia 920 will be one of the hottest phones for the holidays," Jeff Bradley, an AT&T senior vice president, said Thursday in a statement, according to SFGate.
"Our continued collaboration with AT&T is an important component for Nokia's success in the U.S. market," Olivier Puech, president of Nokia Americas, said in the statement.
The Lumia 920 runs on Microsoft Windows Phone 8. It takes many of the physical design elements from previous generations of Lumia handsets, but improves on internal hardware and display technology. Some of the new tech specs include PureMotion HD+ 4.5 inch display (1280 x 768 resolution), Dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, NFC chip, 2,000mAh battery, and Qi wireless charging. Nokia is touting the Lumia 920′s premier feature as its new camera lens, the Carl Zeiss lens. It has rounded edges and colorful covers with a PureView camera.