Feature Article

July 23, 2012

Nokia Rumored to Pursue Exclusive Carriers for Windows 8 Smartphone Agreements

Troubled former mobile phone leader, Nokia, will be announcing a new line of Windows 8-based smartphones in the fall, but the Finnish company will also be unveiling a new marketing strategy along with it. Given the company's performance as of late, it desperately needs one.

The Financial Times reported that Nokia has entered secret negotiations with several European wireless phone operators about forming an exclusive opportunity to launch a smartphone using the Windows 8 platform from Microsoft.

The plan is for Nokia to share revenue for its upcoming Windows Phone 8 handsets with operators, in exchange for dedicated support. France Telecom (Orange) is one of those players with which Nokia is reportedly negotiating, though no agreement has been signed yet.

Deutsche Telekom is also said to be involved in negotiations.

This would be a shift from the company's normal approach – getting as many phones in as many people's hands as possible by selling across all carriers. Instead, the company is said to be pursuing a model similar to Apple's initial deal with AT&T for the iPhone.

The Financial Times cited a source with knowledge of Nokia's ongoing talks as saying these relationships will also offer the operators who choose to strike an agreement a financial stake in the success of Nokia's Windows 8 phone range.

Why would Nokia choose this approach over the mass-market model it usually follows? Some analysts suggest it may be to generate buzz and exclusivity (and therefore desirability) for the Windows 8 Lumia phones it will shortly be introducing. Hey...it worked for Apple!

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Edited by Braden Becker

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