Remember those estimated retail prices before taxes and subsidies that Nokia gives us with the announcement of each of their new handset? They sound great, don’t they?
Yep. If only those were the prices that we could get the new Nokia smartphones for. Unfortunately that “before taxes” caveat makes it almost certain that we won’t. Some countries levy customs duties for every handset, which get passed on to consumer, others have various sales taxes that get tacked on the retail price. Here in Europe we pay VAT, which adds from 17 to 25% to the price of almost anything we buy.
So, getting that lowly advertised retail price for a new contract free phone is almost never an option.
But now, it seems Nokia itself has been quietly raising prices across all their new device line-up. Handsets like Nokia C6, C5, C3, E5 and, of course, N8. The price hikes are different for every model and every country, but nevertheless they are there and, in some cases, they are pretty significant, reaching 20% and more for certain models.
To get a better idea of were the things stand today, I went through official Nokia online shops in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Poland and USA, and checked out the prices quoted for SIM free, recently announced and/or released models. These were Nokia N8, C6, C5, E5 and C3. Pricing info for some of the handset models was not yet available in some countries.
After that, to get the actual price before taxes, I subtracted the VAT for each (European) country, and used today’s exchange rate to calculate the actual device price in Euros for countries with their own currencies. Here’s the results I got:
Except for Nokia C5 in Finland, Spain and Poland, the actual price of every other new Nokia handset was higher then estimated retail price quoted in product announcement press release. In all, but 3 cases the price was higher by more then 5%, and in majority of cases the price hike was higher then 10%. For the Eurozone countries, where there is no currency risk, Nokia France looks particularly greedy, charging 25% more then RRP for Nokia C6 and 20% more for C5.
In countries outside of the Eurozone (USA, Poland, U.K), price increases are even more severe. Part of that might be explained by hedging against weakening Euro. But currency volatility can explain 5-7% of price increase, while the device prices in most cases there are higher way more then 10%.
And, a note about Nokia E5 in U.K. It’s now available for preorder at £259, but I will strongly recommend against doing that. It’s 88 Euro, or 49% more expensive then estimated retail price at the announcement, and way more expensive then E5 is offered in other countries. My guess is that it’s just a trick for early adopters, and the price will be dropped by tens of Euros as soon as device becomes available.
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