AT&T and Nokia talk Windows phone


AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) could be Nokia’s new window into the U.S. smartphone market. Reports that AT&T is working on a deal with Nokia (NYSE: NOK) come as Nokia’s new Lumia smartphones are selling very well in Europe — this week, U.K. service provider Orange said it has had more preorders for the Windows-based Lumia 800 than for any other Nokia phone in history.

Nokia has not announced plans to offer the Lumia phones in the United States, suggesting that it wants to create custom phones for U.S. carriers. That’s a strategy that has worked well for Samsung and HTC.

Finland’s Nokia has seen its market value plummet since the introduction of Apple’s iPhone changed the game for mobile phone makers. Competitors jumped on the Android bandwagon while Nokia forged its own path with its Symbian operating system. In August, Nokia said it would stop selling U.S. phones based on the Symbian operating system once it launches Windows-based phones.

Nokia is still the global leader in mobile device sales, with a 24% market share for the third quarter according to Gartner (down from 28% in the year-ago quarter). But in the fast-growing smartphone market, Nokia’s Symbian operating system has just 17% of the market, down from 36% in the year-ago quarter. Microsoft Windows also saw its market share slip in the past year, from 2.7% to 1.5%. The two companies are betting they can both stage a comeback in the smart device space by working together.

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Martha DeGrasse

Wireless Martha DeGrasse has been creating content for RCR Wireless News since 2011. Recent feature reports include Building Tomorrow's Neworks, Outdoor DAS and Small Cell Case Studies, Wireless Infrastructure Service Company Review, and Investing in HetNets. (All of these can be found by clicking on Reports at the top of this page.) At RCR, Martha also developed the 5 Things to Know Today series and the Mobile Minute. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York. Martha left Dow Jones to move to Austin, Texas, where she managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Follow her on Twitter @mdegrasseRCR