Trouble Brewing?: Lumia 920, Other Nokia Discounts Rampant

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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**Editor's Note: Click here  for our list of November's hottest selling smartphones to see how Nokia measured up to the competition.**

Despite reports of sellouts all over the world this past month, there are some new concerns that Nokia's new line of Lumia smartphones might not be doing as well as once thought.

The new fleet of devices that run on Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 operating system have generated a lot of buzz this holiday season – backed by big marketing pushes from both the Finland-based manufacturer and the software giant – but deep post-holiday price cuts are leading some to wonder if the sellouts really are due more to short supply rather than mass desire for the handsets.

Marketed to both the business user and the general consumer, Nokia is attempting to jump back into the global mobile-phone race. Once the undisputed world leader in handsets, the company was left in the dust by Apple and a bevy of Android manufacturers that adjusted more quickly to the smartphone revolution. Nokia's partnership with Microsoft – established last year – is intended to help the company compete. And while sales of the first line of Lumias – running on Windows Phone 7 – failed to take off, there have been some high hopes for the Windows 8 smartphones over the past several weeks.

Debuting at a very reasonable $99 on contract, the price of the flagship Lumia 920 has been slashed all the way down to $39 on Amazon.com. The online retail giant is giving away Verizon's lone Lumia phone – the 822 – for a single penny. And Verizon Wireless itself is offering the 822 for free on contract. T-Mobile, America's fourth-largest carrier, has already turned the Lumia 810 into a free phone if you sign up for a service contract. Are these sudden price cuts a sign that the phones aren't selling as well as we've been led to believe?

No so, a Nokia spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal this week: " ... pricing is always a carrier decision, but holiday season promotions are fairly standard at this time of year."

That's true – and for that matter, it's not unusual to see products in many industries get discounted after the holidays. But it will be interesting to see if those prices jump back up or remain low; with a new gadget seemingly being unveiled on a weekly basis (if not more often), it's rare the price tag on an "older" one to go up, even if it's only been available for a couple of months.

Verizon wouldn't tell the Journal why it made the drastic price cut, while T-Mobile claimed it's a limited-time offer. We shall see.

Follow editor Craig Galbraith on Twitter @Craig_Galbraith .

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