It's official. T-Mobile will be the first carrier to make Nokia's (NYSE: NOK ) newest smartphones available to subscribers in the United States. Those phones are driven by Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT ) Windows Phone mobile operating system.
T-Mobile's official launch date for the Lumia 710, the least expensive of the new phones, will be Jan. 11. The carrier will push the phone out to customers with a particularly cheap price: $49.99 after a $50 rebate. That price is with a two-year contract. Nokia has aimed this phone at the first-time smartphone buyer.
Recent statements by a Nokia executive, as reported by Pocket-lint, more than implied that there are so many iPhones out there that they are passe. That same executive also said Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) Android is too complex and not very secure, to boot. That may be wishful thinking. Likely, it was said to draw attention to Nokia's new phones, and certainly it was meant to coincide with the T-Mobile/Nokia announcement.
Nokia had pretty much given up the ghost for smartphones in the U.S., and though this may not be a huge roll-out of its products here -- after all, T-Mobile is the No. 4 wireless carrier at the moment, and its very future is up in the air while its proposed merger with AT&T (NYSE: T ) seems to be fizzling out -- it is an important beginning.
There have been rumors circulating of AT&T carrying the top-of-the-line Nokia 800 smartphone but no concrete news on that front. Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) has said it wouldn't touch it without LTE. "We've communicated to Microsoft that LTE is critical to us," Verizon Chief Marketing Officer Marni Walden told CNET last week.
The Nokia executive saying that the cool kids aren't impressed with the iPhone anymore may just be spreading good old PR fairy dust, but it would be nice to see a viable alternative to iOS and Android show up on our shores.
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