If you can’t beat them, undercut them? After a long period of trying to make its Windows Phone relevant, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is presenting a cheaper version of the high-end Lumia phone that will appeal to smartphone buyers’ wallets rather than their taste in apps. Coupled with a low-priced data plan from T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS), Microsoft believes a continued partnership with Nokia (NYSE:NOK) is the way to go.
The Lumia 521 by Nokia, priced at $149 and not tied to a one- or two-year contract, brings users many elements of the top phones without negatives like high costs and long-term carrier obligations. Terry Myerson, who fronts the Windows Phone division, told Reuters that it’s “an opportunity…to offer a very high quality device in the mainstream.”
The new Windows Phone quickly sold out in its debut on Home Shopping Network (NASDAQ:HSNI) and will begin selling at Walmart (NYSE:WMT) stores next week. Coupled with high-def video functions, a four-inch touch screen and impressive camera, the Lumia 521 is attracting many customers with its $30 data plans from T-Mobile, Still, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) are not quite ready to break a sweat…
The dominance of the iOS and Android systems is far too imposing at the moment for Windows to present any real threat to Google or Apple in the smartphone game. Microsoft does ring the cash register in the patent department every time Google sells a phone with the Android OS, yet the consumer hasn’t been wowed by Windows offerings in the past. In fact, Microsoft’s 3.2 percent share of the U.S. smartphone market is almost negligible.
The company hopes to change that with its latest offering from Nokia. The latest ad campaign from Windows phone takes potshots at both the Samsung Galaxy and the iPhone. As two waiters chat while glancing at their Lumia phones, the bride and groom’s parties brawl over whose phone is cooler. In the eyes of the Windows Phone users, the Galaxy is a “one-trick pony” and the iPhone a silly, app-centric phone that’s all hype. While it’s an amusing spot, an impressive sales report for the new Windows Phone would be better news for investors.
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