Nokia’s price drop of the Lumia 900 was not a sign of weak sales, the media has it wrong

Although we cheered at Nokia dropping the price of the AT&T Lumia 900 a few days ago, many detractors in the tech media looked for a negative angle to the story, resulting in some damning headlines this past week.

What was the other tale they were spinning? That the Lumia 900 must not be doing well—after all, why would Nokia (and AT&T) cut the price “so soon” after launch? Forgetting the fact that “so soon” is exactly 3 months or we’ve seen price drops after launches before. That didn’t stop various media outlets like this example which boasts

“Finnish phone maker Nokia has been forced to cut the price of its Lumia 900 by half, just weeks after launching it”.

Forced? Just weeks? That story went over the ANI wire to a lot of news outlets. One problem though: they were wrong.

Read more after the break..

Nokia saw this too with Keith Nowak, who handles Nokia's PR, noting last weekend on Twitter:

“Questionable Lumia 900 "analysis" going on. Folks, phones that are being "cleared out" don't get new colors ranged… no carrier will add *more* skus (pink just launched today) if they are trying to "clear out" inventory. They would minimize skus.”

Still, the damage had been done with rags like the Daily Mail piling on.  As it turns out, smartphones normally drop their price after a few months with no one making much noise of the fact.

Strategy Analytics, who we mentioned earlier today, has come to the defense of the Lumia 900—literally, that’s their headline. They looked at some of comparable phone launches and used PriceTRAX to plot the price points of phones like the Nokia Lumia 900, Samsung Focus S, HTC Titan II, HTC Hero S and the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket. Their conclusion?

“The charts show pricing from launch and appears to demonstrate that it is quite normal for smartphone up-front prices to decline in the first 3 months after launch.”

But that’s data, that’s facts and those things have never stood in the way of a good yarn to spin, especially when it involves picking on the new guy. Bravo, tech "journalists", bravo.

​Does this mean the Lumia 900 is a hit? We just don't know but having some context written with these stories instead of treating it like an anomaly would go a long way in fairness in reporting.

Source: Strategy Analytics

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Haters gonna hate Dan, ain't nothing we can do about it.
  • the proportion of Microsoft haters to Apple and Android haters is almost criminal.  Seriously jsut keep a news feed of Windows Phone, Apple, and Android news articles and do a count on negative vs positive is shameful.
  • That's why I don't read Engadget's WP articles anymore-all haters in the comments section..
  • Think you can safely add The Verge to that list.
  • Any site but WPCentral has haters in the comments.
  • You know I thought that for a while, but realized it wasn't completely true. Though there are still many WP haters at the verge, many of them are very obvious trolls. There are many WP fans there as well as many sound, logical people who may not know/care much about WP, but are still willing to have a decently logical conversation on WP topics.
  • Not entirely...
  • I agree, the ABM (anything but Microsoft) fever has now included Nokia. So a number of pro Anrdroid journos have now adopted a ABN (anything but Nokia) stance. Especially when Nokia chose to go with Microsoft as opposed Google.
    You ain't going to change these opinions and attacks. It will be par for the course and time will sort out the fanboys from the technically literate.
  • Well said..
  • Most journalists are biased. Take for example the incident where Nokia decided to use WP instead of Android. These so called analysts came out and did some bull crap, suddenly, everyone started bashing Nokia for not going Android.
  • Most tech writers aren't journalists, its a stretch to even call some them writers.
  • Exactly. They are far from journalist and they should be Ashamed for spewing garbage
  • What do you expect from Gargabe, except Garbage.
  • I never pay attention to such articles. But still, thanks Daniel for schooling those noobs.
  • Nice post Daniel. Most real journalism died along time ago.
  • Good piece wpcentral. Still love my L900.
  • Microsoft,RIM,Nokia,take your pick.The media loves to rip this company's to get people to read their articles.
  • Can't wait until I get my next Nokia phone upgrade. I love the way Nokia treat there customers.
  • Good article. Wish more would know their stuff first before making outlandish claims and assumptions.
  • Well this would be news if media would be right
  • If it was a iPhone there would be cheering in the streets,
  • LOL!!!!
  • This stuff makes me so mad. THIS is the decline of America... knee jerk reactions and total disregard of facts.
  • Wait, which major media outlet reported this? CNN, NBC,CBS, ABC,FOX, NEW YORK TIMES, LA TIMES, TIME MAGAZINE..? Oh ya it was done obscure online tech site. No wonder nobody but us knows about this "news". Because it isn't. Its a bunch of tech bloggers and "journalists" trying to create a story.
  • Over here in UK it was reported by the BBC this morning that " Nokia has had to slash the price of its flagship phone to $50 ahead of massive expected losses ". So much for ethos.
  • Wish I knew that Nokia and Microsoft were going out of business before I ordered my 900 this morning. What a difference a couple of hours make. Guess I better read the daily mail before I get my windows 8 phone.
  • PCWorld had a crappy article as well. The commenters were the worst.
  • PCWorld is crap they used to be good but now they're one of Apple convert magazine.
  • Disgrace to PC
  • The whole world is drowning in geGool with their hands sO deep in the pockets of these poor fools and they don't even know it! >=(
  • "But... but... but... 
    Apple keeps their phone the same price the entire year!" 
    Please remember that almost all tech bloggers are Mac fans.  This is a Windows phone. The Lumia could taste like chocolate and print out gold sheets and they'd hate it because it runs an OS from Microsoft.
  • In Germany the Nokia released the lumia 900 a few days before the announcement of wp8 some carriers like T-mobile Germany aren't sell the phone. Now the phone is available online (amazon etc.) for 300€ instead of nokias official 500€
  • Where have your info from??? Please give me the adress of this site i will order now 10 nokia lumia 900 and sell it in Bosnia for 450 or 500€. I think you see the price of used devices 300€?! It could be logical that is only 450€. But still a difference to 300€. Like i said, i would NOW buy 10 if they are 300€.
  • Just like bias fanboys, journalists often get in their own way of correct investigating and journaling. I doubt those writers even picked up a lumia
  • That's all nice and all but Apple has changed the landscape as far as how tech is reported.  The Iphone is Apples Flagship phone... it was a Bargain at $199... A BARGAIN!  Apple took a Diamond... polished it up and then gave it away for way less than people thought they would.  The Caveat... 11 months from it's release... it would still be $199.  When the next version came out... they dropped the price of the first one.  You would read things like... Get the new one... it's a bargain... but buy the old one for the rest of your family, it's an excellent device.  
    With the Advent of Android... the 1 year phone cycle seemed obscene for anything but the Iphone.  YOu could literally buy a top of the line android phone... and two months later, the next one would come out bigger and better... and in two months you could by that second phone second hand for half of what it was going for off contract.  Android started the new cycle of phones every other month.  People don't report on how dismal some of the Android phones sell because there are so many different phones that nobody cares... they're almost throwaways(except the Galaxy S III... hubba hubba).
    Now NOkia comes out with the 900... they had phones before that but the 900 was the FLAGSHIP phone...   YOu see... Apple's Iphone is a Flagship phone.... they're old phones are the escorts.. the entry into something bigger and better... but they don't get that "escort" status until the new Flagship is released.  Nokia just made the 900 an "Escort" with no appearant heir coming until Oc-friggen-Tober.  
    Apple changed the paradigm of a Flagship... Android changed the mindset of non-apple owners.. and Nokia adopted the mindset of Android instead of the Rigidity of Apple.  Personally... I don't want the market flooded with Windows Phones of different shapes and sizes... I want a motherfuggin Windows Flagship phone and up until the pricedrop I thought my NOKIA 900 was it!  7.8 will renew my faith... and my daughters... because when  the next NOkia Windows 8 phone comes out... my daugher will be getting my 900... Thanks to Nokias adoption of the Android mindset... I must have the next big thing.
  • Well said dethzilla. Well said.
  • Lol @ $199. It's $800+ in Australia. Old models $500-600. Or is that a subsidised contract price?
  • On contract price of course.
  • Only Apple can do that but it doesn't have its downsides.
    I don't know how conistant the Nokia refresh schedule is its something that is up in the air right now. But why not take the best of both worlds
    In the Fall Nokia World for example release 5 phones. Different price ranges, Different key features, Different hardware Focus on those 5 phones for an entire year and then release the next batch next year. Now the problem with that is Nokia needs to get massive mindshare and they cant do that with just 1 - 5 phones they need more to break through those barriers.  So right now Nokia's best chance to get the brand name accross is to flood the market ROLLING THUNDER get that recognition and once its all good control the supply chain and slowly release flagship families on a yearly basis rather than 6 month releases.
    I agree 1 phone a year easier to support easier to develop for. Not everybod needs the newest phone right away but like I said Nokia isn't on Apple's level yet.  
  • This is the same ambush journalism Microsoft faced when the first Xbox came out and it continued through the 360 launch. Now look where the Xbox is today yes there are still haters but who cares WP will be just fine.
  • Way to keep it fair Daniel!
  • Thank you Daniel. Hate articles are one thing, but blatant lies on top of hate is another. A price drop " just weeks after launching it"? An the worst part is some people that don't now better actually believe that crap.
  • Come on really... What does Windows Phone have going for them right now what is their PULL to get people to buy into the phones.
    1. Its price
    I think it was a smart move to optmize an Operating System that uses older specification so that it works so you can under cut the competition while still providing a excellent customer experience and reliable design.
    When the BIG boys come into play HTC One X Galaxy S3 there is the huge HYPE train that follows those two phones.
    How does Nokia steal that momentum well keeping the Lumia @ 99$ isn't going to help thats why dropping the Lumia back down to 49$ brings some momentum back to the Lumia line.
    Remember Nokia is trying to make a comeback in the states they have to do whatever it takes to please the customers. Yes Windows Phone 8 is NOT coming to existing Lumia devices BUT
    Look how much support Lumia is giving back to their users. They promissed more features, exclusvie applications, fixes in the near future.
    Some Android phones wont even get upgraded to Jellybean do people care? Probably not
    iPhone's get crippled not by OS updates but by BIG features that are available on newer versions of the iPhone. For example 3GS and 4 users wont get turn-by-turn GPS but will Lumia 900 users still get that feature YES they will. Can the Lumia 900 use apps like Ask Ziggy for Voice Dictation YES can an iPhone 3GS/4 user use Siri NO.
    What about Blackberry.. Well no upgrade to BB10 on their current handsets and they aren't making exlcusive apps to make the exisiting handsets better.
    Nokia's dedication is unparalleld. Unfortunatley WP8 might just be too much for Windows Phone 7 but at the end of the day you cant put People First on a slow phone and thats what its all about.
  • I can bet only 5% of current android phones get jellybean.. ICS is still a mirage for most.. #teamWP #ftw
  • +1
  • +1 can't wait for Verizon to stop drinking the Android Kool-Aid. And get more windows phones (I'll be upgrading early next year can't wait for wp8)
  • Oh trust me Verizon wants in on the Lumia hype train.
  • More reasons for us to pick up a nokia wp8 phone next just to prove these "reporters" wrong.
    Hopefully they'll bring out tablets as well, the surface looks great but I really want to support Nokia.
  • Those android loves aka Google Whores are something special they are very uneducated and are just point blank fanboys especially with all the patent sue act like everyone is after Android when as we all know google is the dirtiest in the mobile game stealing and worst Motorola thinking they can stop paying Microsoft and get away with it and the Whores are acting like its Microsoft fault.. Those guys are the worst fanboys even going as far as writing about how google plus is the best social networking site and how Facebook steals from them those Google whores are dummer than a bat
  • I'm a logical guy. Here's a few "logical" questions: 1) Why do your price chart do not include iPhones, Blackberries, etc? If it does would it tell a different story? 2) 2nd quarter result 2012 for Nokia is full of reds. How's does a reducing profit on each unit sold will help with that? Sure, you can go the lower price higher volume route, but is this enough positive cash flow to stop the layoffs? 3) Lumnia 900 is a dead end product? Can't we agree on this? Can't upgrade to windows phone 8 that is coming out next month spells dead end to me. Yes Android is like that to to a certain extend, but at least they try to lie and tell people they can upgrade to jelly bean. 4) Why would any sane person sell a house that is worth $1 million for $500 thousand? Would you sell you house for half of what it's worth (unless) you are desperate? I love the Lumnia, but logically, Nokia is desperate.
  • Bob, stop making sense. That's not what happens around here. 
    In any case, to your first point, what would the chart look like if the immediate 100-dollar price drop (the 100-dollar rebate was effectively a price drop) was included for the Lumia?
  • What would you rather do keep the phone at 99$
    Come on lets face it the spotlight is no longer on the Lumia 900 its all about the HTC One X and Galaxy S3.
    Microsoft and Nokia the biggest thing they have going for them is price $$$ this is what seperates them from the crowd and with the One X launching for just over 99$ you bet Nokia is going to loose some sales. So what does Nokia have to do to get the attention their way. Well... The launched pink Lumia 900 which can attract the all the bautiful women out there and they priced cut the phone to 49$ which an amazing affordable smart phone.
    That brings some attention back to Nokia and Windows Phone. I don't have to be an analyst to see it you just need to know how to husstle.
    Is Lumia 900 a dead end product? Absoultley not!
    Elop and the other gents over @ Nokia have stated more things are coming to the L900 whether is awesome Nokia exclusive apps, firmware updates, software updates, fixes whatever there is alot of life left. And lets face it 49$ phone thats pretty damn good not alot of phone can compete with the Lumia at that price range its like a fighter dropping weight classes. But look at it this way. The best phone dollar-by-feature phone in the market is the Galaxy Nexus hands down. Nokia needed an answer for that as well dropping the Lumia price down sure does help.
  • Lumnia? If you really love or care deeply about something / someone, would think that you should at least know how to spell their name right.
  • One of the biggest red flags in the 2nd quarter report was Nokia's deteriorating margins (price cuts don't help). It's one of the reasons analysts are so negative right now.
  • I'm getting 2 Nokia wp8 @ launch,if sprint isn't carrying any Nokias by then,I'm gone to a new carrier after 10yrs. I'm all in on wp7/8 and Nokia
  • +1
  • Well despite salivating over a wp8 pureview, took the plunge and got a 900 as a stopgap for a year. Seriously considered a couple of android handsets to keep with my Omnia (having best of both worlds) but Android is so ugly couldn't bring myself to it. iOS too locked down with too long a contract. Stormtrooper arrives tomorrow :-)
  • When you think the Daily Mail couldn't be more of a joke, read the reader comments after an article! Hilarious times can be had
  • Windows phone the best
  • It's the best, around...
    Nothing’s gonna ever keep it down…
    The sole purpose of a cooperation is to make money, create shareholder value.
    (Except for the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, they are doing a good job, huge respect for thoese people. But nonetheless, Gates foundation won't exist if it were not for the monetary value that microsoft - a cooperation have created).
    Companies that don't make money will cease to exist! Like it or not, that is the fact of the world we live in.
    Nokia needs to start make money, or they will cease to exist (especially in light with their massive layoffs).
    Why would you sell something that is obviously worth $100 for $50? Why would you purposely undersell yourself?
    Would you swap your $10 bill with my $5 dollar bill? Yes? No?
    If you have something that people wants, you don't have to compete on price. No?
  • I will swap a $10 bill for your $5 dollar bill. Why? because I will give you a fake 10 bill now which one worths more? JK! he he he
  • Hahaha! Well, that does sort of happen in Wall Street in a way, right?
  • You have to understand that this company is going through a complete restructure from almost the ground up. In order to launch a new product line your going to need to take a loss maybe for atleast