The struggling Finnish phonemaker Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) is trying hard to restore its lost glory. Though the release of its Lumia smartphone was a little less than stupendous, the company is tying up with telecom operators to roll out the new models. The Nokia smartphones, equipped with Windows Phone 8, will start selling by mid-November in Italy and Sweden.
So far, the company has finalized agreements with T-Mobile, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) in the US; Telecom Italia, Vodafone, and Wind Telecom of Italy; Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) and O2 in Germany; Orange and T-Mobile in the UK; Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) and Optus in Australia; TeliaSonera AB (STO:TLSN), 3, Telia in Sweden. The deal with China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:CHL) is yet to be confirmed.
Unlike last year’s attempts, this time, the roll-out of Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK)’s smartphones is wide-encompassing, forceful, and rapid. ABG Sundal Collier, an investment research firm, expects Nokia to ship smartphones to 40-60 carriers by the end of this year, and to about 100 carriers by the first quarter of 2013. The research firm says that Nokia will be able to sell 1-2 million units of Lumia in November, 2-3 million units in December, and an average of 3-4 million units per month in 2013.
Nokia Lumia has relatively high prices compared to Samsung Galaxy S3. Though its prices are still about 20 percent lower than Apple’s iPhone 5, Lumia won’t be directly competing with Apple. Its main competitor will be Korean electronics giant, Samsung. Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) has tried to justify its pricing with the tagline “Premium Pricing for A Premium Product”, and operators around the world have embraced it. Just four weeks before the launch of WP8, Nokia is putting final touches to its marketing strategies. The telecom operators seem impressed enough by the features of the new Lumia to tolerate a higher price. The reasons could be: (1) WP8 is considered a potent alternative to iOS and Android, (2) Lumia has qualities to effectively compete with Apple and Samsung, and (3) The brand of Nokia is not beyond repair.
Earlier, investors were worried that Nokia Lumia might miss the year-end holiday shopping season. But its roll-out plan shows perfect timing.