Released as the top-of-line Windows Phone just five months ago, the Lumia 900 now can be had for the price of a couple of movie tickets.
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With Nokia having announced its plans for new phones that run the Windows Phone 8 operating system, the company's previous flagship offering, which hit the market as recently as April, is now in the online bargain bin.
Nokia unveiled the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 at a press conference Wednesday, but did not disclose pricing. But the 920's predecessor, the Lumia 900, can be had on a contract for just $20 from sites like Amazon Wireless. It was originally priced at $99, and recently fell to $49.
It was a quick trip to the discount aisle for a device that was launched on April 8 and described by one company official as "a new dawn for Nokia in the U.S."
The 900, with features such as 4G LTE support and a Carl Zeiss camera, was also supposed to be a flag bearer for the Windows Phone platform, and give a boost to the franchise's anemic market share. It barely registered. Microsoft's share of the U.S. mobile OS market prior to the Lumia 900's launch was 3.9%. Post-launch it was 4%. Since then, its share has fallen to 3.6%.
The 900's quick fall from grace was partly due to the fact that, within weeks of its launch, there were industry rumblings about Microsoft's plan to ship Windows Phone 8 before year's end, and that Windows Phone 7 devices would not be upgradeable to the new OS.
The reports gave many Lumia 900 owners buyer's remorse, and put off potential purchasers.
As a result, the pressure is on Nokia to make the Lumia 920 a hit. The new flagship, introduced alongside the 820 by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer at an event in New York City, does boast some impressive specs.
Like the 900, it's got the Carl Zeiss optics and high-speed network support. It also features a dual-core, 1.5-GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, a 4.5-inch display, 32GB of storage and a PureMotion HD+ display. It's also got what Nokia calls PureView image stabilization. How well that works is an open question as the company admitted faking an ad that purported to show the technology in action.
Other details, including pricing and ship date, remain a mystery, as the launch event was light on details. Some tech blogs are reporting that the Lumia 920 will arrive in the U.S. in early November, well behind next week's rumored launch of the iPhone 5.
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