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Telefonica Chief Says Nokia’s New Windows Phone Handsets Are ‘Too Expensive’

by Killian Bell | November 7, 2011November 7, 2011 6:18 am PDT

Nokia Lumia 800Nokia seems to have impressed us all with its debut Windows Phone devices — especially that stunning Lumia 800 — but for some they’re far from perfect. Simon Lee-Smith, Telefonica’s European general manager, says that Nokia’s new smartphones are just too expensive, and that you won’t be finding them on the company’s regional carriers like O2.

Lee-Smith spoke to Telecoms.com about Nokia’s high-end smartphones and said they’re “not yet at the right price point,” and that if the Finnish phone giant wants to sell its handsets in large quantities, then it will “need to bring out devices which are cost-competitive.” He added that customers don’t want to pay over €400 (approx. $549) for a new smartphone.

In addition to the Lumia 800, Lee-Smith mentioned previous Nokia devices such as the N8 and N9, and said that while Nokia was “beginning to listen” to its customers, the company has followed rival smartphone manufacturers too closely when it comes to pricing its devices, ending up with price tags that are unrealistic for both carriers and customers.

The vendor also used Nokia World to unveil a rejuvenated emerging market proposition based around feature phones heavy on functionality but low on price. “I hope they’re successful with that,” Lee-Smith said. “They need to be able to subsidise their high end smartphones, because they’re too expensive.”

Device vendors generally have unrealistic expectations of what carriers and consumers will pay for smartphones, Lee-Smith said. “All device manufacturers seem to think that a €400-plus device is the norm. Well, it isn’t. Customers and operators won’t pay that cost for a device which doesn’t differentiate sufficiently.”

Lee-Smith added that “simply improving the specifications of smartphones is not sufficient,” and that carriers will not pay silly prices for smartphones that have large screens and impressive specs.

Nokia’s first Windows Phone devices won’t be the last, however, with the company promising to launch a number of handsets powered by the mobile operating system with varying specs and price points. It also aims to work with carriers to improve relations, according to The Next Web.

Do you think Nokia’s new Windows Phone devices are too expensive?

[via The Next Web]


Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...

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