back to article Nokia reportedly readies mass price cuts

Nokia is readying a ten per cent price cut across its entire smartphone product line this September, it has been claimed. Eldar Murtazin, owner of Russian website Mobile-Review.com, claimed on Twitter that the Finnish mobile giants will implement a price cut as it struggles for market share worldwide. Murtazin is believed to …

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Silver badge

"Murtazin is believed to have good connections within Nokia."

...only by people who still think it's 2008.

The only story he did "break" this year was a bare-faced lie that had to be denied by the CEO himself to stop it getting legs. He completely missed the N9's launch, and if we go back to February, he got the Microsoft/Nokia tie-up wrong too (although in fairness, he did "leak" almost every possible outcome except the one that came to pass).

Leaving aside his unreliabiliy (and sometimes hostility) on matters Nokia, price cuts are hardly a major scoop: the current Symbian range is based on last year's device launch (the N8), there's now a new batch of phones coming in Q3 with higher specs than the current ones, and a newer OS ("Belle"). These new products, and serious price competition from the Chinese Android units makes a price-cut inevitable.

Price cuts in mobile are an odd thing anyway, when almost no customers pay the real price of their phone, especially smartphones. Even PAYG handsets are either subsidised or loaded depending on what the operator wants.

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"Thanks to the rise of Android and Apple..."

Should be "Thanks to the poor build quality, underpowered processors and poor operating system..."

Its why I switched after quite a few years of Nokia.

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Stop

Nay sir. You're exactly wrong.

Poor build quality? My E61 (2006!) is still going strong, likes to bounce on concrete, has survived being submerged in a foot of water, has more scratches on the paint than the blues brothers' cadillac, yet the screen still unblemished.

Underpowered processors? Maybe - but the underlying OS has been written with such care you'll get at least twice the battery life of anything else. So the OS has a few major pluses - it's the UI which (on my 2006 model) is inferior *only insomuch as we compare it with Android and IOS*. In its day it was just fine (s60 v3 I'm talking about).

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Gold badge

Eh?

Why downrate? it's largely true.

My last Nokia (6110 navigator) had the sliding front piece misaligned slightly. It crashed a few times (once when I was at a train station meeting a friend). The OS was rather poor, too many clicks to do the basics of making a call (choose contact, click to make a call, then a selection of voice or video call, click again).

Underpowered processors? if you're specs whore then yes. But having a simple OS that is written in C++ (albeit a rather odd version of it) means it is a lot more efficient than Android or WP7 with their virtual machine runtimes. iOS is Objective C which is close to C++ but still it's an OS that was developed for a desktop. Symbian was developed for palmtops then mobiles.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

Poor build quality - yes. And no.

Some models were built like brick out-houses and could survive a nuclear war. Others though were silly pieces of crap, that fell apart on their own.

Their flagship models frequently crashed, and had to be restarted. Many times some days.

The only reason the batteries lasted so long was because no-one used them for anything except making calls (for which they were usually brilliant).

I'm sure if you put any of their fancy-pants phones to the *same* use a a current-day smartphone then it wouldn't last much longer. How often do you see someone playing games on their iphone, using it for GPS, listening to music, browsing the intertubes, etc etc etc...

All of the above were possible on the top range Nokias - but they were all painful experiences. And you wouldn't think about doing it for any extended periods.

My old N95 8GB would maybe have 4 hours battery life if used as a GPS. Became so hot was impossible to hold on to while being used as a wifi hotspot - and would only manage that for an hour of two before running out of juice. It would also need restarting after doing nothing more than taking photos for extended periods.

Yeah - they are reliable masterpieces. That's why *everyone* is wandering around playing with them... etc etc etc..

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Anonymous Coward

Power consumption

Use of a low(er) MHz CPU and a very power efficient (the most?) GPU in the latest Nokia smartphones means they do last much longer than Android or iPhone's wrt power consumption. Nokia (and the people who do work for them) also spend a considerable amount of time on power management, trying to eek out as much as possible.

Other companies spend time making fancy UI's, Nokia spend time making sure the battery lasts, the phone actually makes calls, the camera is well setup etc. You still get the odd lemon of course, but in general, if I wanted a reliable device that worked as a phone, for an acceptable length of time, I'd go for a recent Nokia.

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I use my E52 for GPS and music/radio

I can't speak for the comsumer Nokia's (N-Series) but I have had little problems with my E-Series phones and normally use an E52 for GPS and travel info (the ITIS traffic app is good) while using the FM or internet radio app. The battery lasts for two to four days depending on how much 3G time. I don't use it for browsing much, just news and the like, but email and calendar are pushed from Google mail and calendar into the phone apps, not some add-on. I prefer the built-in SIP client to Skype but use both. I don't really have much time for playing games.

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Really?

To prove your point you have to reference a five year old phone???

Nokia's of late ARE underpowered and poorly built, and the software IS poorly written and support is even worse.

Get with the times man.

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really?

You don't think that Nokia's reliance on low speed/low power processors is for exactly the opposite reason??

They can't manage battery life well and anything faster will drain the battery in a few hours.

FYI my new Samsung lasts far longer than my N97 ever did.

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@ Nay sir. You're exactly wrong

The earlier ones were built to last. I've carried on with many well past the end of their contract and even went back to one after having a crap phone (anyone remember the Ericson T18?).

However, their newer ones aren't so good. The N97 was a bag of crap. The screen thought it was being touched constantly after it had been in the pocket for a while, the slider fell off, the camera cover scratched the lens, etc. Not what you want from a phone.

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Windows

Fatal mistake. [EOL.]

But that said, it's not the only one they've made recently.

Announcing price cuts??? If this is true, who-and-his-dog is gonna buy before September??? A cut-rate symbian? Yep. Think I'll take the Pope's wife out for a pint or two.

NSN? Elop and Windows?

Makes me wanna weep, seeing this company that I loved working for, slowly but assuredly committing suicide.

Think I'll get another can of tramp-juice to comemmorate their demise. As if I needed an excuse...

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Why would you care about a "dead" OS?

With a Symbian phone you can access www and other content and send and receive SMS and email messages -- chances are you'll get it with a longer battery life than Android and iOS devices also. So, why would you need any more?

If you bought a smartphone on contract you'll likely upgrade on the next renewal anyhow.

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Anonymous Coward

@Cameron

Yeah. You *could* do those things on them. Who would want to?

Are you still using two sticks to make a fire?

Are you still taking your clothes down to the nearest river to clean?

Are you still using a 10 year old Nokia for email/web/music/photos?

If not - then you have probably upgraded doing some of those things because a newer nicer device/interface has become available. Don't be an old-fogey stick-in-the-mud.

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Old fogey stick in the mud?

No, not really, just someone who doesn't want to have to charge my phone every day at work if I'm browsing heavily, for example.

As for newer devices and interfaces -- the one example I've tried (iPad) can't reflow text in the browser, making my old-fashioned E71 easier to browse on. If that's anything to go by I don't know why people bother.

You may also find there are many people still using the very capable Blackberry device -- which hasn't changed much since it first came out.

Progress for the sake of progress is pointless.

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Windows

Are you still using two sticks to make a fire?

Strange idea. Use one stick (called a match).

Without which, I usually just rub two boy scouts together.

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Megaphone

Get it while you can

Step right up. Who wants to buy a burning platform? Guaranteed to keep you warm in the cold Atlantic while you wait for the rescue boats to arrive. Get these limited edition Symbian phones before they become collectors items!

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Silver badge

All I want

Unlike a lot of people, it seems, I'm happy with a basic smartphone. If it's got a decent IMAP email client with encryption and a sane web browser and can do texts and phone calls, that's enough if the price is low enough. A few bells and whistles such as Google Maps (or even Ovi maps if they continue to exist), an IM client and a stopwatch (one of the few apps I use on my existing phone) and that'll be it.

I don't need Android or iPhone with their dodgy tracking and booby-trapped app stores, I just need a basic tool, so if Nokia will oblige with a low-enough price, I might buy one before they wreck their line with Windows.

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Then you should've bought

a Sony Ericsson W995.

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Anonymous Coward

@Fly fishing

Erm... crappy keyboard. Phone that crashes all the time?

No thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

Thanks Nokia!

Well I've been a die hard Nokia fan since my first phone 15+ years ago. The hardware has always been good, nokia often have the best camera and battery life in the market.

I recently decided I need a smartphone and my obvious choice was the N8 (shortly after launch). I got the phone and I have to say, the potential was amazing, however in this package it was an epic fail. :( The phone used to shutdown after using it in a call or internet for more than 10-15minutes. The OS felt like Win ME, it was patched here, bodged there, settings would appear in several different menu's with different structures. It was like someone took the old Symbian OS, wanted to add some bits, so farmed out different screens/menus to different developers, who never met or had a design brief.

The reason I say thanks Nokia is because if the N8 had been just a little bit better, I'd have stuck with it. However as it was a complete lemon, I continued my hunt and bought the SGS2, which is an amazing phone. I wouldn't have this phone or even considered Samsung if Nokia hadn't stuffed up the N8, so cheers Nokia, you've saved me 18mths of a contract with a lemon phone!

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Anonymous Coward

Well,

The N8 is getting an OS upgrade soon. So it should suit you needs a bit better.

Too late of course.

And in comment to others above, I've had a look at a few of the next Nokia Smartphone releases, and the build quality is really very good indeed (way better than my Samsung). New version of OS looks pretty good too and the cameras are excellent.

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Boffin

They still make good phones

My N96 reboots at will even after 3 reloads of firmware from Nokia themselves (not online), Garmin loses it's way and shuts down after an hour or so, the memory card keeps needing to be reseated.....I wanted an N900 but was warned off it, and from the feedback on Nokia sites, glad I did.

the only nokia i still use is the 6300, I carry 3 phones, all were nokia's but alas they havent done much to keep me faithful so a BB Bold has taken one spot, a galaxy S2 the other....the 6300 will stay as it's my "solid" phone, survives the kids using it too

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In other news

Apple drop the 3GS to a touch over £200.

Balls in your court Nokia.

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Silver badge

Source?

Until Apple put it on their website, that's just a rumour. Adding a random price doesn't make it less so.

Maybe it's true, but it won't be the 3GS - it really can't be made for that price without seriously eating Apple's fabled profit margins. Plus, it's too far behind the times - it'll struggle with iOS5, and v6 probably won't run on it at all.

Right now, you can get the technically superior Nokia C7 (T-Mobile Astound) for about £220. Beats the iPhone 3GS on pretty much every hardware measure (and it should; it's a year newer), but we all know that's not why people buy an iPhone, and Symbian3 isn't pretty.

But, having seen the UI for Symbian Belle (coming on Q3's handsets), I think Nokia do actually have an answer to a budget iPhone in their forthcoming 500 and 600 models. But "budget" and "iPhone" are difficult bedfellows: there's a danger of diluting the brand image (if they try to keep their margins, and produce a very cheap phone sold at £200) or cannibalising the high-margin sales of the iPhone 4 (if they make a competitively-priced cheap phone). It's a lose-lose prospect for Apple and one they won't consider until they have to.

The real challenge to Nokia is not Apple, but Android, and that's an easier game for them to win.

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