Nokia cut the price of the Lumia 900 smartphone in half, to $49.99, less than four months after the device went on sale at AT&T.

The Finnish phone maker said the price cut, which first appeared over the weekend, was a "normal strategy" that gives a broader audience a more accessible price. A spokesman told the Wall Street Journal (Subscription required) that even the Galaxy II S from Samsung had a $50 price drop after about the same time on the market. Nokia could not be reached for further comment.

However, many phones retain their retail value for many months or even years. Most analysts predicted the price cut when Microsoft announced the Lumia 900 and other Windows Phone 7 phones would not run Windows Phone 8 operating system when it launches in the fall.

Nokia reports its second-quarter earnings on Thursday, after announcing 10,000 job reductions last month. Nokia said it had poor sales of low-cost phones amid a small share of Windows Phone sales.

Nokia will provide an interim Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade to the Lumia 900 and Lumia 800 to mimic some features in Windows Phone 8. But the Lumia 900 only has a single-core processor that doesn't support all the Windows Phone 8 features needed for top-flight video and gaming, analysts said. Many current smartphones have dual-core or even quad-core processors.

Keywords: Lumia 900 price drops by half; Matt Hamblen;smartphones

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is [email protected].

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