Bonnie Cha

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AT&T Prices Lumia 920 to Sell — At $100

Last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer dished details about pricing for some of its new Windows Phone 8 handsets for Verizon and T-Mobile, and there weren’t a lot of surprises. But AT&T’s pricing might shock you — in a good way.

Today, the carrier announced that the Nokia Lumia 920 will cost $100 with a two-year contract, and the Nokia Lumia 820 will go for $50 — two very competitive prices that might help persuade some customers to give Windows Phone 8 a try instead of the iPhone or Android.

The Lumia 920 is an AT&T exclusive, and serves as Nokia’s flagship model. It features a 4.5-inch HD touchscreen and an 8.7-megapixel camera with advanced features such as an image stabilization system and technology to capture more light.

The smartphone’s battery can also be charged wirelessly, and to sweeten the deal, AT&T is throwing in a wireless charging plate for free, for a limited time.

With such features, I would have expected pricing for the Lumia 920 to start in the $200 range, but at $100 it’s quite the steal.

Meanwhile, AT&T is selling the mid range Lumia 820 for $50 less than T-Mobile’s and Verizon’s versions. The 4G LTE handset has a 4.3-inch, 800 by 480 pixel touchscreen, an eight-megapixel camera and eight gigabytes of internal memory with a microSD expansion slot.

Both Lumia handsets will be available for preorder starting tomorrow, with in-store availability beginning on Nov. 9. The Lumia 920 comes in red, white, black, yellow or cyan; the Lumia 820 comes only in black.

In early October, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said in an interview with AllThingsD that the company’s first crop of Windows Phone devices didn’t do as well as he had hoped.

“I’ve said this at our results. In getting the first Lumia devices out there, I would have liked to have done better,” Elop said. “There is no question.”

Elop added that Nokia didn’t do a good enough job of telling its story on the retail front. The value pricing certainly helps Nokia’s cause, but it remains to be seen whether Nokia, Microsoft or any Windows Phone manufacturer or carrier, for that matter, can raise people’s awareness of Windows Phone and get them to buy the handsets.

In addition to the Lumia models, AT&T also revealed pricing for the HTC 8X, which will cost $200 on contract. The 8X features a 4.3-inch HD touchscreen, a rear-facing eight-megapixel camera and a front-facing 2.1-megapixel camera. It also has built-in Beats Audio technology for enhanced sound, and 16 gigabytes of internal memory.

If you can do with less memory, AT&T is offering an 8GB (there is no microSD expansion slot) model for $100 on contract. The 16GB HTC 8X comes in blue, while the 8GB is available in blue or yellow. Both smartphones will be available before Thanksgiving.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald