Try as it might, AT&T
Glenn Lurie, head of Ma Bell's emerging-devices group, told investors at a conference in Barcelona that the company is negotiating to carry Windows smartphones built by Nokia
Translation: We like Windows, but we know where our bread gets buttered.
No device has added more flavor to AT&T's recent results than the iPhone. Ma Bell has activated more than 6 million Apple handsets over the past two quarters alone.
Android has also had an impact. Google's
Say what you will about Android or new handsets from Research In Motion
What a Windows Phone means
Lurie wasn't and isn't knocking Windows. He's just admitting what we already know. As good as the new Mango OS looks -- and as good as Windows 8 might be -- developers have already committed huge resources to Android and iOS.
AT&T knows this, and like any other carrier, it's going to put the most resources behind handsets built to sell. Will Nokia's Windows handsets fit the profile? Lurie, like the rest of us, is admitting that he doesn't know. Whatever deal Nokia and AT&T come to will reflect this variability, and as a result the terms will come well short of what Ma Bell pays for distributing the iPhone. So while there's going to be plenty of money to be made on the smartphone revolution, betting on Microsoft and Nokia probably isn't the way forward. Both stocks have proved to be market laggards year to date.
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