A month after Nokia unveiled its new line of Lumia devices, AT&T announced at a device showcase in New York that it would be the first U.S. service provider selling Nokia’s new Windows Phone 8 devices.
Carriers outside of the U.S. have already announced plans to sell the devices, including operators in Sweden and Italy according to Bloomberg. Prior to the event, sources with knowledge about the plan said the phone would not immediately be available for sale after the event, though AT&T did note at the event that it would be available in November. Nokia’s Lumia 920 will be the first WP8 device sold in the U.S.
Yankee Group Senior Analyst Boris Metodiev comments
“Once upon a time, AT&T had the exclusive rights to sell iPhone in U.S. That beneficial for both parties relationship continued for years and at one point iPhone used to be responsible for about three-quarters of AT&T smartphone sales. There were meant to live together happily ever after. Things have changed since then massively. Two years ago the exclusive relationship was ended (mutually?), and earlier this year we even started hearing rumors of AT&T sabotaging the sales of the popular device in its own shops. And just to emphasize on the change of heart AT&T has had, the operator is now announcing that it will be selling exclusively the new Nokia's Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8.
It’s all good for AT&T. It was well known that the carrier was not happy with iPhone’s dominance, which shrank its profit margins. The company will be the first one to sell Windows Phone 8 device in U.S. and the phone is LTE capable, which a nice fit for the carrier with the largest 4G network in U.S.
Is it so good for Nokia though? I don’t see what the benefits are of being sold only by one carrier in Nokia’s case. None of the best phones nowadays are sold exclusively anymore. This is the phone that is meant to reverse the fortunes of the whole company. Nokia have never been very popular in U.S. and you would expect that the company will search as broader exposure as possible. Giving exclusive rights to only one carrier, which by the way is not even the No. 1 carrier in U.S., actually shrinks the possible exposure to the phone. And the Lumia 920 needs prove to customers that is any good. It is not like the iPhone, where people where willing to leave their network and join AT&T, just to get a hand on the desired phone, during their exclusive relationship. And there is still one unanswered question looming. How much? A month after the phone was announced by Nokia we still don’t know the most important thing about it: its price.”
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News | May 24, 2013
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