Nokia’s smartphone strategy these days can be summed up pretty simply: Create something for everyone at every price point.
The Lumia 620, for instance, is good for anyone looking for a cheap entry-level phone, and the recently announced Lumia 1020 was made for people who want a really good camera. Nokia’s latest device, the Lumia 625, also offers a simple value proposition: large screen at a low price.
But to get the phone to a viable price ($306/ £200/ €220), Nokia had to make more than a few tradeoffs: The device’s display, a 4.7-inch WVGA (480 x 800) panel, for example, is almost painfully bad by current standards, and its 512MB RAM is similarly unimpressive.
Nokia, however, knows what it’s doing here: The Lumia 625 is aimed at Europe, Africa, Latin America, and parts of Asia, i.e, places where people are particularly sensitive to price. Also significant is the Lumia 625′s 4G LTE chip, which will make the device one of the cheapest LTE devices around when it launches in the third quarter.
The obvious problem with Nokia’s “something for everyone” strategy is that while more choice is typically good for consumers, it’s remarkably tough to keep all of these phones straight. I couldn’t tell you offhand, for example, the differences between the Lumia 925 and 928, both of which were released in the last few months. While Nokia is trying to approach every price point and feature set, pursuing this strategy risks confusing customers.
Fortunately, there’s no indication that’s happening yet: Nokia sold 7.4 million Lumias last quarter, so it’s doing something right.