The vast majority of new phones being sold today in the UK are, understandably, of the smartphone variety – with people wanting to check their emails, listen to music, share photos, and interact of Facebook and Twitter whist on the go. iPhones were the first smartphones with mass market appeal, but Apple has always priced them as relatively luxury items. Android phones have long since gained market share priority over iPhones due in part to competing on specifications and its open nature, but also in a large part offering budget smartphones at attractive price-points. Android’s dominance is the budget smartphone arena is now, however, being hotly contested with Windows Phone 7.
For the sake of comparison, the lowest priced iOS phone is the 8GB iPhone 3GS (which is now 3 years old technology) which is cheapest with Orange PAYG for £289.99. In contrast, the Nokia Lumia 710 running WP7.5, which offers a CPU nearly twice as fast, and a much better camera that is capable of 720p video, is available for just £150 with PAYG from Vodafone. Now this isn’t to say that there are some even cheaper Android phones, notably the HTC Wildfire S for £119.99, the Samsung Galaxy Ace for £129.99, or the Galaxy Y for just £79.99 – all cheapest from O2 – but these are all running a version of Android (Gingerbread) that is at least a couple of years old, and have the cut-down spec to match.
Nokia did say that they would be bringing the fight to Android in the budget arena, and with the Nokia 710 (or even its bigger and better brother the Lumia 800) they seem to be beating their Android competitors on price and performance at the moment. Add to this that the Windows App Marketplace is growing at a faster rate then either its iOS or Android cousins and now sits at 80,000 apps – then buying into the Nokia/Windows family has never looked so good.