At $299 and exclusive to AT&T, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is too expensive
First, Mr. de la Vega was clearly excited about this device, notably more excited than he was when I witnessed his presentation about the HTC First as the first device packing Facebook Home as part of the native experience. Today was no mistake or act, Mr. de la Vega digs this device.
What’s not to like? I know fans of the different platforms will chime in with all sorts of answers, but frankly many of the answers are tired and in some cases, no longer applicable. Since I don’t want to chase that rabbit down the hole let me say this: In all honesty, I, along with anyone that uses or has used Windows Phone 8, can reasonably concede that the platform is not perfect. The app environment has a ton of momentum and so Windows Phone fans are dedicating more time to really examining what they hope will be enhancements to the user experience with Windows Phone 8 in the GDR2, GDR3 and 8.1 updates over the next year.
The complaints are now less about the apps, and more focused on refining the experience to propel the platform to the next level. The biggest issues have to do with notifications (customized), file management, and use of Zune for media syncing. The list is quite long. The good news is that Microsoft appears to be really listening, so for now, let’s acknowledge that there are warts for Windows Phone. For the rest of the gang, take a step back an acknowledge the failings of your favorite platform and we’ll get to brass tax.
It’s too expensive.
Lumia 920, Lumia 925 and Lumia 928 can all be had for a subsidized price $99 or less ($49 down payment in T-Mobile’s case).
I have no doubt that the carriers and Nokia have been aggressively subsidizing these devices to reestablish a foothold for Windows Phone 8 and Nokia in the United States. Some of the internal components, due to the operating system requirements, also help keep costs down, but like any “new” player, aggressive pricing is almost always used to lay the foundation for future products. Therein lies the rub, Nokia is still laying a foundation, and while I think the Lumia 1020 is timely (and necessary), I also think Nokia is not situated properly to command such pricing with AT&T alone.
Last year, I bemoaned AT&T’s exclusive arrangement with the Lumia 920. I stand by my arguments in that case, but I do not need to use them now. Now, circumstances are different, and Nokia needs to pay better attention to the environment.
One of the first points I will make concern Mr. de la Vega’s comments about AT&T and Windows Phone. During the presentation, he noted that AT&T is the leading carrier for Windows Phone in the United States. If we are talking about all of Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8, he may be correct. When it comes to Windows Phone 8 however, the statistics are painting another picture.
Based on last month’s statistics from AdDuplex, Verizon Wireless holds a distinct lead over AT&T in Windows Phone 8 market share, 43% to 39%. In fact, Verizon has more Lumia 822 devices in service than AT&T has Lumia 920s in the field according to the same crop of data. Now that the Lumia 928 is in full swing, it will be interesting to see how that affects the landscape.
The next point I will touch on is the relationship between AT&T and Nokia. AT&T has been selling Nokia gear for a long time. Verizon’s relationship still has a new car smell by comparison. However, during the question and answer phase of the presentation today, a reporter with Forbes, not a small organization by any means, outright called Nokia and AT&T about a perception that the partnership is not making its way to the retail channel.
I can’t quote her directly, but she pretty much said to Stephen Elop, “AT&T has been a horrible partner for you. I love my Lumia but when I walk into a store no one knows anything about it.” She then took that commentary and tried to turn it into a question about how the relationship can be strengthened. To his credit, Mr. Elop took ownership (unnecessarily in my view) and responded that Nokia was going to ensure more cohesive training at the retail level. Frankly, if I had just signed another exclusive deal, I probably would have made sure the other party was doing its part as well.
The Lumia 1020 is definitely a breed apart, but has Nokia generated enough momentum in the US for this price point?
However, while “we” muddle through the maturing updates to the Windows Phone platform, a customer is going to be put off by $300 out of pocket when he or she can get a 32GB Samsung Galaxy S4 for $249, a 16GB for $199 or a 32GB iPhone 5 for $299. Love them or hate them, you can’t deny the duopoly that is Android and iOS.
It’s too expensive.
Speaking of duopolies, Nokia is taking overly protective positions when it comes to these exclusive deals. The carriers may insist on them to a point, but it is detrimental to Nokia especially when its chosen partner may not be a top performer compared to the competition. Verizon is currently outperforming AT&T with Windows Phone. Nokia needs to consider Samsung’s model of building primary devices that end up available across all relevant carriers. The Galaxy S4 is a perfect example, available everywhere while off-shoots of the device fill the niches.
Verizon's performance in selling Windows 8 devices marks a distinct trend versus AT&T
Nokia engineered three different devices for three separate customers when it could have engineered three (or maybe two) for all its customers in stages. Offering first dibs on a device for three months is certainly a workable incentive, and then let the rest of the carriers join in the fun. Whatever AT&T can’t get done in the first three months of exclusivity does not mean that another three months will make any difference, the mobile hardware cycle is too short to allow anyone to sit on the sidelines.
Maybe Nokia has plans like this already in the works. Next year, Verizon expects to start offering devices that are devoid of any CDMA radios, purely LTE. That will certainly make things easier for the manufacturers since they can just ensure the proper LTE bands are supported and keep the GSM/UMTS radios on board for global roaming. When those days arrive, exclusive arrangements like the one for the Lumia 1020 are going to be more difficult to justify at any price.
It’s too expensive.
reference for Windows Phone market activity: AdDuplex
1. FlushGordon (unregistered)
Utterly delusional, Wait for a month or so then they'll give it for free on -contract
24. dan86 (Posts: 298; Member since: 17 Mar 2012)
Not sure about the correct pricing of the device but yes the technology Nokia has developed no other OEM has even dared to think in that segment. A masterpiece of all time. Nokia 1020 has left me absolutely impressed.
42. icyrock1 (Posts: 263; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)
The Lumia 1020 is extremely impressive. I normally don't care about the camera in a phone (mainly because I never use them), but this one is just amazing.
Though, The exclusivity hurts there potential market in the US. At most, there audience is AT&T customers. Now narrow that down to those who are up for upgrades. And then narrow it even more with those willing to shell out $300 for a new Lumia 1020 (that's the price of the Note 2, and $50 - $100 more than the 32GB HTC One and 32GB S4). This device has a small audience, unfortunately.
If they could get this everywhere (like HTC with the One) and got the price at $200 - $250 Max, it would sell very well.
51. apple4never (Posts: 755; Member since: 08 May 2013)
and those upgrade ready at&t customers who will pay 300 bucks and that too for a windows phone. I dont think its gonna work well for this phone
57. akki20892 (Posts: 2651; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
now a days good camera is expensive so i don't mind to pay $300 for this phone, because this phone have "41MP camera r u listening 41MP camera" and some innovating features packed in it and it's a really huge thing. and r we using android in dslr? 2GB RAM and 32GB memory (+7GB skydrive storage)
oh com'on. i don't understand about this article.
3. Bootutu (Posts: 162; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)
i Knew it, who will buy bulgy low spec for that price, JOKERS!!!, Phones are not specialised for excellent images, that's why we have dedicated cameras, get that into you grizzy head nokia, all the other Nokia phones are lingering in store gathering dust even at give away prices. Someone should just buy nokia and put them out of their misery.
5. FlushGordon (unregistered)
It will take good captures on certain lighting situations no doubt, but what I don't understand is that, these Noki-knobs are so passionate about this phone they think it can replace a dedicated system.
Those night samples were absolute rubbish I don't think it can even do a clean 1600 ISO
16. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5278; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
I prefer to see how the new Nokia toy does in objective comparison tests. There shouldn't be too long to wait.
In the interim, carrier exclusives are the definition of stoopid. There are probably enough people on all 4 major carriers who would be willing to drop the coin Nokia is wanting for the L1020. However, there is probably only 1/3 of the total population of that universe who are AT&T customers. The missing 2/3s could be the difference between success and failure.
20. sam.7 (Posts: 68; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)
no need to think then buds! go with ur dark shots n go with ur custom samsung..
35. FlushGordon (unregistered)
I have a full frame Nikon D7100...I don't take pictures with my phone
Phone photography is a waste of time
55. darktiger (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Jul 2013)
Nikon D7100 is an APS-C sensor and not a full frame.... guess you do not take that many pictures with your D7100 if you cannot tell the difference a APS-C or FF (D800/D600/etc)
21. alterecho (Posts: 935; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)
There is no denying the Lumia 1020 has the best camera in a mobile device, or thats what i believe, since it is an upgrade to the 808 Pureview, which held/holds the crown for mobile photography.
If you have any doubts regarding the photographic capabilities of the Pureview sensor in the 808, maybe this will clear it:
These shots were taken with the 808 Pureview.
Obviously, dedicated cameras, something like the dedidcated Nikon D600 will be better, but compare the size with the Nokia 1020 and the 808 Pureview. Lumia 1020 is just a fraction of the size of the the Nikon, yet produces such stunning images. What Nokia has achieved is nothing short of breathtaking. Leave the fanboism aside for a moment and appreciate whats been done.
Just imagine being able to capture such fine once in a life moments in such detail with a mobile device. Thats what the Nokia 808 Pureview and Lumia 1020 are for.
7. abcdefgh (banned) (Posts: 471; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)
where did u get that info?
as far as i know,they have a bit supply issues to cope with demand
65. jabberwolf (Posts: 7; Member since: 02 May 2013)
Sorry but that's an idiotic statement.
We don't carry digital cameras along with us at all times and our Cameras take mediocre pictures at best. This changes that !!!
As for low specs? What are specs if the phone performs better than others at 4 cores? That's like saying a car with 600 horsepower that goes from 0-60 or 0-100 at the same speed as another car at 400 horsepower. If they perform the same, the car with lesser specs is actually BETTER!
4. Dr.Phil (Posts: 818; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)
I was reading an article in which an analyst suggested that Nokia and Microsoft lower the price of the 1020 to $200 on contract and offer a $50 gift card to the Windows app store. He suggested that users would use that $50 over time once more and more apps became available and would help keep customers happy. Not to mention that Microsoft has tons of cash on hand that they could stand to lose some in order to offer such a deal.
11. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5278; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
Perhaps MS could use some of the royalty $ they have been extorting from Android OEMs to cover the cost of the $50 gift cards?
19. abcdefgh (banned) (Posts: 471; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)
i like the way you come up with detailed explanation
(especially the guy who claimed to be nokia employee)
6. abcdefgh (banned) (Posts: 471; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)
this one is for trolls who say "WP SUCKS"
shut up.you havnt tried it even once.
go to verixzon page and check USER REVIEWS.its far better than s4 and iphone5.
seriously.im fed up of shutting the mouths of these paid shills.
PA pls ban them
9. Bootutu (Posts: 162; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)
WP sucks monkey balls, those tiles look stupid, they flip like some uncontrolled teenager, they can easily give epilepsy or vertigo, no notification, no quick toggles, everything seems just archaic, old and weird to operate, no sense of organisation at all, no wonder its not selling, and don't even get me started with the bugs lol
15. xperiaDROID (Posts: 4812; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
Bootutu is a paid shill that sucks monkey balls, working for the competition, and his/her sole purpose is to write fundamentally negative and dishonest comments about Nokia and/or Microsoft products and services.
PhoneArena, please stop letting paid employees working for other companies interfere with the user feedback process!
18. abcdefgh (banned) (Posts: 471; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)
yeah.well said xperiadroid.cheers :)
33. Paradox (Posts: 122; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)
Just because wp is rubbish, not every negative comment on it is by someone who is paid...
45. HouTexan (Posts: 282; Member since: 08 Jan 2012)
So, I guess ask the Nokia idiots bashing on android articles are paid shills, right? Terrible logic.
53. apple4never (Posts: 755; Member since: 08 May 2013)
wp is rubbish huh ? lets see its the only os that dosent resemble ios and android, its dosent need exnos octa core to run smoothly, less a chance of messing with a setting to the complicity of android and your not f****** yourself to the boringness of ios and its devices oh ya and no carrier branding whatsoever. still rubbish ?
56. akki20892 (Posts: 2651; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
dude i tell u what, when lumia 1020 launch, i'm seeing everywhere trolling people and haters keep saying vs to lumia 1020 but u know what they jealous of lumia 1020, because their phone can't complete with it in features and some innovation.
we know that nokia lumia 1020 is a tremendous, unique, and masterpiece phone.
8. Piotrek007 (Posts: 76; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)
Lets be honest... its all about price these days... I think nokia will figure out quite quickly that the price of device is far too big and they will cut it or make something like gift cards mentioned before.
10. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)
Well if you compared it to SG4, it does look expensive
12. livyatan (Posts: 560; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)
Considering the camera technology and that it will probably put even some advanced compact cameras ( those cost up to 2000$), the price is a bargain.
BUT.. this means something only to the people who are serious or enthusiastic about photography, or in a need for a great camera..for them, this phone can actually save money.
For average people who need a smartphone first, and are happy with their simple cameras, there are better choices.
Any of the current crop of high end android is a better smartphone than this.
Take the S4:
-better, sharper, bigger screen
- more battery life, with ability to remove the battery
- slimmer, lighter body
- far more powerful processor, especially GPU(the adreno 225 in Lumia 1020 will barely be any gaming worth even in a year from now, given how fast 3D mobile games are advancing)
- expandable and removable storage
- far more flexible, customizable and capable OS
For anyone in the need for a smartphone first and camera second, Nokia is not the way to go.
For anyone in the need for a camera first, it is by far the best choice
22. pyradark (Posts: 710; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)
Im not taking S4 yak
cheap build up, too many bloatware, outdated processor
28. BadAssAbe (Posts: 434; Member since: 22 Apr 2011)
cheap build up, sure plastic is cheap
too much bloatware, Yes
Boring look, sure but smallest 5in phone
outdated processor, No way
but u forget The SGS4 also has
the fastest/best ram in a phone
The Newest/best Glass available
the Best display Ever made ( phone or not)
49. greathero1 (Posts: 442; Member since: 13 Jun 2008)
I was with you all the way until "Best display!" It is definitely in the top 3 or 5 but the HTC One's display is a hell of a lot better.
62. jroc74 (Posts: 3959; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
You are one of the few that sees it for what it is when it comes to Nokia phones. Even then....those that are camera enthusiasts....will probably go for a dedicated camera first.
I did have to print out some pics for my kids project. The print outs were horrible. I used a Maxx HD and I think an EVO Design 4G. I would bet in that instance a Nokia phone woulda did better. Most ppl that take pics on a phone either upload them to websites, have them on the phone to show ppl, or email them to ppl. In that case most cameras on a phone are fine.
13. deacz (Posts: 147; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)
Im not sure its about price, I couldnt care less if i pay 650 euros or 500 for a flagship phone, and im fairly sure im not alone.
If you cant afford the best then buy something middle of the road for 50$ on contract and enjoy your monthly fees for 2 years.
edit: who cares about gpu's? most games on mobile are useless junk.
17. _Bone_ (Posts: 2061; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
IF it packed the SD800 - let's face it; that's the Q3 flagship SoC, 3000mAh battery - all are getting there, FHD 4,8-5" screen - 2013 standard, and a microSD slot, THEN I'd consider looking at the price, but so many things are 2012 about this device that I wouldn't considering it unless it had $4xx written over it.
23. Tsepz_GP (Posts: 664; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)
It's ultimately a Lumia925 with an upgraded camera, for most it simply won't be worth the price due to the fact that WP is still behind Android in functionality, its using 2012 specs, it's more expensive than the GS4 and iPhone5 and lets not forget that the next iPhone is due out in September, IMO, this maybe too little too late for Nokia, had they launched this last year it would've been totally worth the $299 on contract.
25. timezone (Posts: 66; Member since: 16 Jun 2013)
Behind in functionality...get real Most people don't even know the features they currently have on any platform. This includes notification which the windows phone will soon have available. The only thing this does is allow the sales people to make stupid comments about how one is better off with an Android. They don't even know why they say it except for being biased against something they have rarely looked at or because the store is pushing a sales contest for them. People don't turn into sheep and check out a great smartphone. The windows phone is excellent and with Nokia is hard to beat.
26. Edmund (Posts: 645; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
Umm, I don't think even Nokia expects to sell more than 2-3 million of these. They make more profit on cheaper handsets like the Asha series and low-end Lumia models eg. 520, 620, and 720
27. Edmund (Posts: 645; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
I guess they're not trying to convince android/samsung/HTC fanboys to buy this. There's another 32GB phone currently selling for $299.99 called the Iphone 5. When presented side-by-side, I think this is a very good proposition.
To paraphrase Mr Poirot, "One needs to use the grey matter".
29. SingDaFire (Posts: 74; Member since: 21 Jun 2013)
Well the price is very reasonable when you look at the features Nokia has put inside this beast. Gpu , processor and other things are easy to implement but not wat Nokia has done right now. This clearly shows that one doesn't need no octo core or 3 gb ram to perform smooth
30. SingDaFire (Posts: 74; Member since: 21 Jun 2013)
Unlike Samsung and other android oems who keeps on upgrading their specs , don't you guys know that an 18 years old girl was badly injured from explosion of s4 , this is one example of overload
40. Whateverman (Posts: 3158; Member since: 17 May 2009)
That's such a weak argument I can't even believe you went there. The lithium ion Barry is the most likely cause of the explosion in that phone. Care to guess what type of battery EVERY OEM that makes cell phones uses???
Don't use that young lady's pain to fuel fanboyism.
46. Whateverman (Posts: 3158; Member since: 17 May 2009)
Well the "fact" is that a quad core processor will not generate enough power to make an explosion of that nature. The battery is the ONLY way something like that could happen. So to say high end specs causes phones to explode is just really weak reasoning, argument, rationalization, excuse, or whatever you want to call it.
31. papss (Posts: 3376; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
Expensive or not I'm buying it. I hate my space tweakfest that is the same grid icon setup since 07 Not for me at all.. I'll stick with my organic beautiful windows phone.
34. muhsen (Posts: 191; Member since: 07 Jun 2012)
windows phone 8 is not zune dependable !!! :/
36. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 5634; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)
Another way for att being too damn greedy 249 just for the camera? You're sales won't meet expectations att set it at 199
38. Whateverman (Posts: 3158; Member since: 17 May 2009)
First off... Great article Maxwell! Very nice read.
Second, much of what Maxwell says is absolutely true. Nokia has to remember a few things; not many people don't like Windows OS right now. That may be hard for some to hear, but it's true. The general consumer doesn't have WP8 on their short lists of phones they want, so to make a device of this nature with a limited appeal OS, limited demographic (those really into photography), then stick it on a carrier that just about everybody hates (AT&T)... That kinda like Nokia shot themselves in both feet and an arm. They should have made it available to all carriers and charged $200 bucks for it. That would have made this a breakout hit, but I think all those things mentioned will just hold it back.
39. sks1969 (Posts: 42; Member since: 04 Mar 2012)
PA, just review the device, don't worry about the price. When the GS4, with a ton of gimmicky stuff was released it was priced correctly. This device with lots of innovative features that WORK is expensive WTF:-(
54. roscuthiii (Posts: 1716; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)
Well, they've already done a hands-on with the 1020, so...
41. sks1969 (Posts: 42; Member since: 04 Mar 2012)
To add, Nokia has invested in R and D and produced a device that is great, you are paying for that, not something that was mass manufactured straight from a reference design.
48. Maxwell.R (Posts: 129; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)
I fully acknowledged the realities of costs of the technology behind the camera. The rest of the innards are year-old tech (which I'll argue is a good thing given the performance of WP) however, plus solidifying a foothold will take more than a camera when WP is going through some critical updates over the next several months.
That said, I also outlined that AT&T is the wrong choice for Nokia. Verizon has proven itself to be a more capable partner with inferior models. Heck, the Lumia 928 already had 2%+ of the US market after being available for a week according to AdDuplex. After the Forbes reporter asked her question about the state of the relationship, the audience erupted in applause.
Couple those factors with the fact that Nokia is still reestablishing its brand, with a young platform in the US market, $299 for this level of device given the current crop of the Lumia 1020's direct competition is a liability. The SGS4 camera may not be as glamorous, but it's probably best in class right now.
44. VLaRueC (Posts: 86; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)
So....is this an article about how broke Maxwell R. is? I'm confused. $299.99 isn't unheard of in retail. Let me name a few items that are $300. Note 2, some versions of the PS3, a nice KitchenAid mixer, a 2013 Demarini Juggernaut Softball Ball, high quality silk sheets.... people who want something that makes them feel good will come up with the money.
50. Maxwell.R (Posts: 129; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)
The Note 2 is a different class of device. I know the price-point isn't new, but it is not the right price point for Nokia *yet* and it certainly isn't the right price point with AT&T as an exclusive partner. If you want to compare different devices altogether, take the Samsung Galaxy Camera, it might not make phone calls, but it has some amazing capabilities, and lightly used models are trending under $350 on eBay.
I totally see the value in the 1020, and I would buy one. But I, like the readers of this site (and most sites), see the technology differently. Joe-Q-Consumer is fickle and doesn't pay attention.
47. Packer29 (Posts: 56; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
The 1020 has a great camera and no doubt its innovative and groundbreaking for smartphones but at the end of the day that price is going to come down before they seriously have a chance at making huge sale numbers. I really want to jump on the Windows band wagon but i think i will wait for the 1080p displays!
52. jsdechavez (Posts: 676; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)
We're not bothered here in Asia since we don't rely much on carrier subsidies. We buy them unlocked.. It will most likely sell for as much as the HTC One, probaly US$600-700 unlocked.
58. ngo2dd (Posts: 773; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)
Yes the camera is 41 mp. But they don't take 41 mp pictures. It is just an updated 928 for 200 dollar more