Stephen Elop, Nokia's (NYSE: NOK ) CEO, rolled out the company's newest line of smartphones, phones that will incorporate a first for Nokia: the Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) Windows Phone operating system.
Ignoring the fact that other companies -- Samsung and HTC, for example -- also produce smartphones that run on the Windows Phone OS, Elop proclaimed the Nokia Lumia as "the first 'real' Windows Phone."
The phones will first go on sale in November. The U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands will get the phones first, followed by the Asia-Pacific region by the end of the year. A U.S. launch will come soon after the New Year. China will get them a few months later.
Elop said versions of the new phones based on CDMA and LTE will be coming out later.
This phone introduction is a big deal for Nokia. Its shipments of smartphones fell by 38% in the third quarter; It has even been losing out to Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM ) , which itself has been staring at a steep decline in market share for its own BlackBerry. The big gainers, of course, have been Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) with its iOS powered iPhones, and Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) Android, the OS that powers the majority of the world's newly sold smartphones.
Nokia and Elop have a lot riding on how well this new phone introduction goes. Investors are concerned that the company may lose so much market share that climbing out of the hole may well be almost impossible. Indeed, shares of Nokia have fallen 40% this year on that fear.
The die has been cast, and we will have to wait several months to see what kind of bedfellows Nokia and Microsoft make.
"It's a new dawn for Nokia," Elop told reporters at the Nokia World conference in London where the phones were introduced. But the famously long, dark, and cold Finnish winter is coming up quickly. It'll be critical for Nokia that this new partnership produces results that'll get the company through the night and to that dawn with dispatch.
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