It's been more than a year, but it looks like Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) may be ready to give Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT ) Windows Phone another shot. Way back in May 2011, ancient history in the smartphone world, Big Red launched its first Windows Phone 7 device, the HTC Trophy.
HTC Trophy. Source: Verizon Wireless.
Since then, the device has sat all by its lonesome as the sole Windows Phone device available on Verizon's network, as the carrier continues to focus heavily on peddling Google Android devices. AT&T (NYSE: T ) is also making a big push with Windows Phone, putting a bunch of marketing dollars behind its exclusive Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) Lumia 900, running Windows Phone 7.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, Verizon has a new device in the cards for later this year: a new Nokia phone running Microsoft's newest Windows Phone 8. Microkia has recently sent out press invites for an event on Sept. 5, presumably a baby shower for their newest offspring that's ready to be shown to the world. Verizon isn't expected to have a presence at the event, but it will launch the new Nokia device at a later date.
Sept. 5 would also put the event directly up against Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) rumored Sept. 12 iPhone event, showing that Microkia has high hopes of tackling the new iPhone head-on. Verizon and AT&T have both been looking to wean their reliance on the iPhone in recent times, in part because of the hefty subsidies that device carries and the lack of control they exert on it. To them, the iPhone remains a necessary evil, but both carriers continue to diversify the mobile operating systems offered on their networks.
It would also be a solid win for Nokia to get in bed with the largest U.S. carrier, as Verizon currently doesn't offer any Nokia devices of any flavor. Microsoft has also been making progress in market share, increasing its slice in the second quarter to 3.5%, up from just 2.3% the year prior, according to the latest figures from researcher IDC.
A deal with Verizon would be a step in the right direction for both Microsoft and Nokia.
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