26 Dec 2012

Nokia Lumia with New Discounts

Little more than a month after launching in the U.S.,Nokia Corp.'s NOK1V.HE -3.60% critical Lumia lineup of smartphones is being sold at postholiday discounts—or even free with contracts—at some U.S. carriers and through Inc. AMZN -3.86%.Nokia is betting on the success of the Lumia phones, which run Microsoft Corp.'s MSFT -0.74% Windows Phone 8 software, to steady the company after a string of financial losses.The high-end Lumia 920 launched in November at AT&T Inc.T +0.12% with a $99 price tag,and the Lumia 822 also was offered at $99 in Verizon VZ -0.21% Wireless stores.

The 920 is still available directly through AT&T for the original $99 price, but it can be had at for $39 to buyers willing to take on an AT&T contract.Verizon's 822,meanwhile, is free with a contract.T-Mobile USA Inc., which sells the Lumia 810, is also giving the phone away to buyers willing to take on a contract.Nokia spokesman Doug Dawson said in an email that pricing is always a carrier decision,but holiday season promotions are fairly standard at this time of year.He noted that Samsung Electronics Co. 005930.SE +1.77% phones are also being offered for free in some markets.

Verizon declined to comment on why the move was made.T-Mobile said its move was part of a broader limited-time offering.It is unclear if the carriers are shouldering the entire financial burden of offering discounts, or if Nokia is providing some marketing support.Although Nokia executives have indicated the Lumia lineup is off to a good start, the company hasn't released specific sales figures for the latest Lumia line, which launched in the U.S. last month.The Lumia is one of several Windows Phone 8 devices available and when the first generation of Nokia's Windows phones launched, sales were considered a disappointment.

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