AT&T on Monday said it will sell a Nokia smartphone running Microsoft's Windows Phone software. The device represents Nokia and Microsoft's best chance yet to break Apple and Google's hold on the U.S. smartphone market, the world's most lucrative.
Nokia Corp. CEO Stephen Elop joined Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer in unveiling the phone a press event in Las Vegas ahead of the International Consumer Electronics Show. The presence of both CEOs was a sign of the importance the companies place on the device.
The phone, the Lumia 900, will use AT&T Inc.'s new "LTE" wireless data network, for faster downloads. It's a slab-like touch-screen phone in the vein Apple Inc.'s iPhone. The companies said it will be available "in coming months." They didn't reveal the price.
Nokia of Finland is betting that it can reverse its sinking fortunes by switching to Microsoft's new phone software, and Microsoft is paying it billions to do so.
For Microsoft, the partnership with Nokia is a chance to break into smartphones, which are dominated by Apple and Google Inc., through its Android software. Other phone makers have also put out Windows phones, but sales have been slow.
T-Mobile USA has said it will sell a more modest Lumia model starting Jan. 11. It's the fourth-largest U.S. carrier. AT&T is the second-largest, after Verizon Wireless.