Lumia 900 phone price cut sharply in US

Nokia Lumia 900 A software bug dented early sales of Nokia's Lumia 900

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Nokia has halved the US price of its flagship smartphone - the Lumia 900.

The touchscreen phone is sold via US telecoms carrier AT&T and only went on sale in April 2012.

The price cut, from $99 to $49.99 (£32), is widely seen as an attempt by Nokia to win back market share from Samsung and Apple.

Nokia's ambitions for the Lumia 900 were dented by a software bug that meant many US phones occasionally lost their data connection.

Big shift

The allure of the phone was also hit by Nokia's admission that the device would not be able to run the forthcoming phone version of Microsoft's Windows operating system.

The lower price is only available if customers sign up for a two-year deal, said Nokia.

A spokesman for Nokia denied it was acting out of desperation and said the price cut was "not unusual" at this point in a smartphone's life. He said the cut formed part of its "normal strategy" for handsets.

Nokia has not said whether the price cut will be repeated in markets outside the US.

From 1998 to 2011 Nokia was the world leader in handset sales but was knocked off the top spot for the first time in early 2012 by Samsung.

Figures released by market research firm Strategy Analytics show that in the first quarter of 2012, Samsung sold more phones than any other firm giving it a 25% market share.

Nokia was in second place with 22.5% and its market share of all handset sales dropped by 24% between 2011 and 2012, said the analyst firm.

Nokia's lead in smartphones was eclipsed in 2011 first by Apple and then by Samsung.

In a bid to halt its decline, Nokia last month announced plans to cut a further 10,000 jobs taking the total lost to 40,000. It has also decided to phase out its Symbian mobile software in favour of Microsoft's operating systems for phones.

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