$99 USD: Nokia's impressive Lumia 900 targets high-end rivals

Although analyst projections suggest Nokia has shifted some 1.3 million units of its Windows Phone-equipped Lumia handset since the line launched in November, that’s still a far cry from the 27.04 million iPhone handsets Apple sold during 2011’s final quarter.

So how, we ask ourselves, do lagging smartphone partners Nokia and Microsoft plan to steal market share away from frontrunners like Apple and Google if cutting-edge hardware and critically acclaimed software don’t seem to be luring in prospective buyers?

Well, you go for the retail jugular if your technology is comparable with that of the opposition and traction still isn’t good enough. And that means adopting an aggressive pricing strategy whereby customers are offered the same product quality as rival platforms for much, much less.

Such austerity-friendly measures are apparently exactly what Nokia and Microsoft intend to adopt with the new Lumia 900 handset, which is a distinctly upper-tier smartphone that's set to boast an impressively low asking price.

That’s according to CNET and BGR reports, which cite sources with knowledge of the phone’s upcoming launch in claiming that the Lumia 900 will arrive on March 18 attached to price of just $99.99 USD (alongside a two-year AT&T service contract).

It’s worth noting that, although the entry-level Lumia 710 can be snaffled from T-Mobile USA for just $49.99 USD, the additional $50 USD required to secure the Lumia 900 is small change when considering the handset’s capabilities.

For example, the polycarbonate Lumia 900 comes with a spacious 4.3-inch AMOLED ClearBlack touchscreen (480x800), a 1.4GHz Qualcomm processor, the latest version of Windows Phone, 4G LTE connectivity, front and rear cameras (1.3 and 8.0 mega-pixels respectively), 720p HD video recording, and 16GBs of internal data storage.

By way of direct comparison in the marketplace, the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Motorola Droid Bionic both cost upwards of $299 USD, while the baseline iOS-powered iPhone 4S costs $199 USD.

If the above $99.99 USD pricing causes a gentle tugging on your pocket, or you’ve been hit by a rush of doubt regarding which smartphone to invest in, we feel it only right to tell you that the Nokia 900 was awarded the coveted ‘Best Phone’ award at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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