According to Simon Lee-Smith, Telefonica's Euro chief, those Nokia Lumia 800s are too damn expensive. That's why the network won't be selling Nokia's first Windows phones, adding that they'll have to be cheaper to get a look-in.
Talking to Telecoms.com, Lee-Smith, who overseas Telefonica's regional carriers of which O2 is one, said:
"If Nokia wants to sell in volume, they need to bring out devices which are cost-competitive"
"[Their premium devices] are not yet at the right price point"
The Lumia 800 is going to be available at around £450 SIM-free, with Vodafone, Orange and Three already lined up to carry it from free on a £31 per month contract. Lee-Smith went on to say:
“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.”
Nokia has said that the Lumia 710 and 800 are the first of a series of Nokia Windows Phone 7 devices, with more on their way in the next six months or so. Perhaps we'll see some cheaper entries coming along, but with the flagship pricing of most manufacturers sitting between £400 and £500, it's hardly surprising that Nokia's priced the Lumia 800 up at £450.
It's always been better value to buy the phone off network and then just pay for the service, not subsidise the phone with your contract, essentially like high purchase. If you're an O2 customer and want to stick with them, that's precisely what you'll have to do. Cheaper flagship phones can only be a good thing for consumers however; but I have to think that O2 might be shooting themselves in a foot by not taking the Lumia on, and it's certainly bad news for Nokia's Windows Phone revival. [Telecoms via TNW]