Nokia made a big splash at CES 2012 with the launch of their first U.S. smartphone, the Lumia 900. A massive media campaign of television commercials ensued – and they actually happened to be quite funny. But unfortunately for the struggling phone company, it looks like the Lumia 900 itself is a “beta phone”, as the company announced plans to cut the price of the Lumia 900 in half, to a mere $49.99 (with 2/year contract).
The Lumia 900 and its earlier cousin the Lumia 800 received very good reviews, but as RIM can attest to, it’s extremely difficult to compete against Apple’s iPhone and the many Android-powered smartphones that already dominate the market. Despite having an excellent product, it appears that Nokia got into the smartphone market too late.
News of price cuts this early into a device’s availability usually portends troubling signs for the company making the device. Last month, Nokia announced it would lay off 10,000 workers, which in hindsight foretold of poor sales for Nokia’s Lumia line of phones.
Microsoft’s own announcement that Nokia’s Windows-powered phones would be ineligible for upgrades to their new Windows 8 mobile OS is thought to have also played a major part in the poor sales of the Lumia 900. With Microsoft planning to run Windows 8 only on their own mobile devices, Nokia is suddenly out in the cold looking for a new mobile OS partner.
Nokia used to be the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world, but the rapid ascendance of smartphones has left the company in the dust. The company had hoped their well-reviewed Lumia 900 would start to reverse that trend, but it looks like those efforts so far have failed.