Nokia: We still need a cheaper Windows Phone to compete with Android
Nokia has confessed that although its latest Nokia Lumia 610 is cheap, it needs to create an even cheaper model to take on Android.
"We have a lot riding on the fact that we need to get a lower price point," Niklas Savander, executive vice-president at Nokia, covering Brand, Marketing, Sales, Supply Chain, Customer Care and Information Technology, admitted to Pocket-lint in a one-to-one briefing at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week.
"We are competing with Android," he said. "Android is in many markets at the €100 price already, so that would suggest that if we are at €189 with the Lumia 610 we still have work to do when it comes to creating a lower-end first-time user smartphone."
The candid remarks about the company's new low-end smartphone show how keen Nokia is to make Windows Phone 7 a phone for everyone, and replace its current line of Symbian handsets already enjoyed by many in developing countries.
"Symbian is doing a very good job in capturing that first-time smartphone user, but the platform is, of course, ageing. And the functionality isn't evolving as rapidly as it should, so we need to continue to push the price of handsets down when it comes to the low-end," Savander said.
The Nokia Lumia 610, announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week, is one of the new Windows Phone 7 Tango devices that has a reduced processor and memory spec. It allows manufacturers such as Nokia to drop the price without really affecting performance.
"You have to be very much into multiple applications and have everything open at the same time before you can see the engineering cuts that Microsoft has made to run it in lower memory," Savander explained.
He did point out, however, that while the Lumia 610 is considerably cheaper than the company's current flagship model, the Lumia 900, it still isn't cheap enough.