I hope they have some after xmas sales...
Unrelated, but I still think it's a shame people will have to choose between the camera/storage of the N8 vs the qwerty/screen size of the E7.
The lack of an AF camera and the storage limitations are so obviously on purpose.
I want to buy your Nokia E7.
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It's good that prices have been dropping since the introduction of the N97, but I remember the days where an E90/N80/N93 would cost one $700+ -- and many of us were okay with that at the time...the phones were worth it and were better than anything else.
I think we ask too much of Nokia (or any manufacturer) to give us a super-phone with a long spec sheet, gobs of RAM, sweet camera, continued FW support, etc for under $500 bucks. It's not realistic.
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BB - 9900, 9700(x3), Bold(x5), 8820(x2), 8800, 8100, 8320(x2)
HTC - Diamond 2, Diamond, Polaris, Artemis, Desire, Desire Z
Nokia - E72-2, N97(x2), E75(x2), Sapphire Arte, 5800 XM, E90, N95-4,E71-2(x4),E65,N82,8600,3120
Sony - W810i
Samsung - D807
Apple - iPhone 3G 8GB(x2), 16GB(x3), iPhone 3GS(x5), iPhone 4 16GB, iPhone 4 32GB, iPhone 4S 64GB, iPhone 5 64GB
Now, if we want to talk software and price tags, then yeah, Nokia has some serious work to do through out the top of it's mid-range line to justify a higher price. But you know, $449 for an N8 is a pretty good deal in my book.
(and a 1/1.83" sensor in a phone should be considered a "performance" part!)
Currently, I don't think Nokia has a high-end device. I believe the N8 is a premium phone, but I think it's clear that Nokia has positioned it as a mid-range solution due to its projected price ($399 about 4-5 months from now). Once the dust clears and we are in the wake of the N9 (if that's what it is), the N8 will prove to be extra average in all areas outside of its camera.
The E7 is an N8 without all of the media bells and whistles, so I consider that mid-range as well.
If that is the case (and I agree with your post), Nokia cannot ask for anything past $500 as a starting price.
But when have they listened to the market?