Following AT&T’s(s t) lead this week, Verizon Wireless(s vz) announced pricing and availability for several new Windows Phone 8(s msft) handsets on Thursday. Both the Nokia (s nok) Lumia 822 and the HTC Windows Phone 8X smartphones can be pre-ordered on Nov. 9, with availability expected by Thanksgiving. Both are LTE devices and earlier in the day, Verizon’s CFO, Fran Shammo, said the carrier’s nationwide LTE network rollout would be completed by mid-2013; approximately 6 months ahead of schedule. Verizon will carry the Lumia 822 in black, white and gray, while the Windows Phone 8X will come in blue or an exclusive red or black color.
Perhaps in response to AT&T’s pricing, Verizon has set reasonable prices for both smartphones. The Lumia 822 is the same $99.99 with contract, after a $50 mail-in rebate. For $199.99 with contract, customers can opt for the HTC Windows Phone 8, which is same price as AT&T’s.
As noted when the Lumia 822 was announced by Nokia and Verizon last month, the handset is more of a mid-range device aimed at first-time smartphone buyers. I noted back then:
“To be sure, the Lumia 822 has some decent hardware, software and features. It uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip, supports Verizon’s LTE network, and has an 8 megapixel camera with the traditional Carl Zeiss optics. Nokia Maps, City Lens and Drive+ software is also included, and of course, the phone runs Microsoft’s latest operating system. It’s certainly not a bad deal for $99.”
I also suggested at the time that current smartphone owners would like pass the 822 by in favor of the 8X. For $50 more out of pocket, those familiar with smartphones may be influenced by the higher specifications of HTC’s offering; even without the $50 rebate. The Verge also reports that the 8X will support wireless charging, which may raise appeal.
We’ll see the sales mix within the coming months to see if that’s the case. We’ll also find out more about the Samsung ATIV Odyssey which is another Windows Phone 8 exclusive to Verizon. The carrier says more information on the Odyssey will be available by year end.