High global prices for the Windows Phone 8 Nokia Lumia 920 are causing a stir for outlets reporting U.S. dollar equivalents ranging from $643 to $860 in Germany, Italy, Russia, and Sweden -- but U.S. buyers considering the phone have little cause to worry.
Although international price tags are said to be 10 percent to 25 percent higher than that of high-end rival Samsung Galaxy S3, according to pricing information gathered from German, Italian, and Swedish Web retailers, Nokia's U.S. pricing is guaranteed to cost less than 50 percent of those fees.
Deals with carriers, which pass along the subsidy to consumers, will keep prices below $300. I'm guessing that we'll see a $199.99 amount at launch at the highest hen Nokia does announce pricing, the same cost as Samsung's 16GB Galaxy S3 and the 16GB iPhone 5.
What the comparison does tell us is that we can count on is a steeper fee than the slightly smaller, less premium Nokia 800 before it, which released globally late last year for around $585 (420 euros) at the time.
The U.S., on the other hand, got the larger, LTE-ready Nokia Lumia 900 for just $99 with AT&T, an absolute steal to entice curious-but-hesitant buyers to an unfamiliar brand and struggling mobile platform.
One must also consider the build materials and features when thinking about price. However, in this case, Nokia's Lumia 920 harbors similar components compared to the Galaxy S3. Some materials that legitimately cost a tad more; I'm thinking of the Qi wireless charging capability and the 32GB internal storage space.
Remember, too, that the Samsung Galaxy S3 has been globally available since May, so it's had more time for the price to drop around the world. On Amazon.com, the GS3 sales price fell from $585.00 to $899.00.
Of course, Samsung's affordable pricing doesn't help Nokia's sales pitch, but it does fit the pattern of lowered prices over time.
Nokia's pricing problem is emblematic of their precarious position overall. They face a challenge getting buyers to accept the Lumia 920 as a premium product deserving of a higher price tag, balanced by the reality that Nokia and Microsoft must still sell dubious customers on Windows Phone over the far more dominant Android and iOS ecosystems.
CNET has reached out to Nokia for a comment; I'll update this story pending Nokia's response.