Nokia (NOK) Lumia Devices Heavily Discounted in Post-Holiday Sales

December 27, 2012 6:47 AM EST
Despite a rousing endorsement from Mark Cuban recently, Nokia Corp (NYSE: NOK) is finding its Lumia smartphones being sold at a discount to attract buyers.

According to the WSJ Thursday, Nokia's Lumia 920 can still be had for $99 at AT&T (NYSE: T) in the U.S. The same device, however, is going for $39 on (Nasdaq: AMZN) with two-year AT&T contract.

The Lumia 822, which is sold by Verizon (NYSE: VZ), is sold for $99 with contract, but buyers can get the device for free with contract on Amazon.

T-Mobile USA is still offering the Lumia 810 for free to those signing a new contract.

It's not clear whether the discounts will hit just the carriers or if Nokia is providing some financial support. The WSJ cites a spokesperson from Nokia, who said that "pricing is always a carrier decision."

The Lumia line runs on Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows Phone 8. Nokia and Microsoft saw little in the way of success with the first Lumia, which ran Windows Phone 7 and sales stagnated this year when it was announced that older Lumia devices wouldn't be able to upgrade to the new operating system.

One area of concern would be discounting so close to launch. The Lumia 920 and 822 were released in the U.S. in November despite being announced months before. The Nokia spokesperson also noted that Samsung devices are also being given away for free on contract in some markets, though he didn't specify which devices those were.

Unlike Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) or Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Nokia and Samsung really only get the bulk of revenue from hardware sales. Apple and Google also have an ecosystem to fall back on so they can capitalize on content and ad sales.

Shares of Nokia are flat ahead of the bell Thursday.

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