Tesco Triggers Nokia N8 Price War

Nokia N8

Tesco has triggered a price war for Nokia’s long-anticipated answer to the Apple iPhone, the N8, by undercutting the Finnish vendor’s official online price

Last week Nokia confirmed rumours that its forthcoming flagship smartphone, the N8, will arrive at the end of this month. But now it has been revealed that UK supermarket Tesco will significantly undercut Nokia’s online pricing for the desirable handset.

Nokia has already announced that its online shop will sell the N8 for £429 SIM-free. Indeed, it is taking pre-orders for the phone which will arrive in the last week of September.

Meanwhile, the N8 handset will also be available from UK operators (O2, Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Three Mobile and Virgin Mobile), as well as high street retailers (the Carphone Warehouse, Phones4u and Tesco Phone Shops) from 1st October.

O2 and Vodafone for example are offering the handset to users free of charge, if they sign up to a two-year contract, for a £35 a month for 600 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited Internet. T-Mobile is offering a similar £25 per month deal that gives users 900 minutes.

Every Little Helps

But for those users not wishing to be tied into a two year contract, there is a cheaper option from Tesco.

While the SIM-free option direct from the Nokia store will cost £429, the same phone from Tesco Direct will be priced at £329, a clear £100 cheaper than buying it direct from Nokia.

That said, the Tesco Nokia N8 will be locked to the Tesco Mobile Network (piggybacked on O2’s network).

It remains to be seen whether Tesco’s move will trigger a full scale price war for the handset.

Tesco Mobile was contacted for comment but did not respond to eWEEK Europe UK at the time of writing.

N8 Specs

The Nokia N8 will include a 12-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and Xenon flash. It also records HD quality videos, with its own editing suite and plays them back with Dolby Digital Plus surround sound, either on its screen or through an HDMI-out socket. It will have new Ovi apps and social networking – with a single app covering Facebook and Twitter.

It is also the first Nokia phone to use the Symbian^3 operating system – an open source OS backed by Nokia – although its future use of the OS seems to fraught with questions after Nokia said it would drop Symbian from its N range handsets in favour of the MeeGo mobile OS.