Can $100 Windows phone trump iPhone?

Nokia's impressive Lumia 900 will sell for half the price of Apple's offering, and Microsoft hopes the discount will win buyers over.

By TheWeek.com Mar 28, 2012 11:56AM

Nokia's (NOK) next flagship device, the Microsoft (MSFT) Windows-powered Lumia 900, will finally hit AT&T (T) stores on April 8 -- for an affordable $99.99 with a two-year contract. Although the phone is half the price of competitors like Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 4S, it's no slouch: It has a 4.3-inch display (bigger than an iPhone's) and an 8-megapixel camera, and it will run on AT&T's faster 4G network.


The key question now is whether the attractive price will woo customers to Microsoft-powered mobile devices, which have struggled to gain market share against heavyweights like Apple's iOS and Google's (GOOG) Android.


Will the lower price give the Lumia 900 a fighting chance?


It's possible, but it won't be easy. The Lumia 900 will face "the same challenges that many past Windows phones have struggled to overcome," says Roger Cheng at CNET. For one thing, consumers aren't leaping to choose the young Windows OS over more established systems like iOS or Android. But on the plus side: Previous Windows phones sacrificed higher-end specs for affordability. "The Lumia 900, by contrast, will come packed with some of Nokia's best hardware."


Apps are an Achilles heel. The 70,000 apps available to Windows phone users may be "too little, too late," says Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet. Apple's robust App Store has more than 500,000. If Microsoft wants to snag a larger share of the mobile market, it will have to aggressively promote its own apps to compete with popular games and services that aren't available on Windows. Otherwise, Windows is doomed.

But the price is so crazy, it just might work. "It is highly unusual for a marquee smartphone to be offered at such a disruptive price," says Tony Bradley at PC World. A $100 price point is typically reserved for older versions of phones that now seem outdated. Hopefully, users looking for a "unique" and "innovative" offering will "give [Windows] some badly needed momentum." The Lumia 900 is certainly a bargain. Perhaps consumers will agree.


(Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)


Sources: CNET, ZDNet, PC World


More from The Week

2Comments
Mar 28, 2012 2:31PM
avatar

That phone is going to make me leave Sprint for AT&T!

Mar 28, 2012 1:05PM
avatar

Competition works and you get a better mobile ecosystem for less than Apple charges.

Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

STOCK SCOUTER

StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

109
109 rated 1
276
276 rated 2
421
421 rated 3
629
629 rated 4
511
511 rated 5
538
538 rated 6
686
686 rated 7
507
507 rated 8
331
331 rated 9
109
109 rated 10
12345678910

Top Picks

SYMBOLNAMERATING
KOGKODIAK OIL & GAS Corp10
UPLULTRA PETROLEUM Corp10
TAT&T Inc9
COPCONOCOPHILLIPS9
DVNDEVON ENERGY CORPORATION9
More

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

ABOUT

Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.