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6/19/2011
11:00 PM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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Nokia To Debut Windows Phone In Europe

The Finnish phone maker is expected to unveil one of its only Meego-powered phones Tuesday, as it puts all its future eggs in the Microsoft basket.

Nokia's European VP Victor Saeijs said that the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands will be the first to see Nokia phones running Microsoft's Windows Phone platform.

The deal between Nokia and Microsoft was announced in February. It signaled the end of the Symbian platform, as well as cutting off the Meego partnership with Intel, which was launched in February 2010. Nokia had already begun working on phones with the Meego platform and is expected to announce a new device Tuesday. It will be one of the few Meego-based phones to bear the Nokia name as the Finnish manufacturer puts all of its eggs in the Microsoft basket.

The Nokia launch this fall could be just the thing to kick Windows Phone sales into high gear. Nokia is a master of carrier relationships and managed to be the number one device maker for many years, until it was recently surpassed by Samsung. Sales of Windows Phone are starting to tick upwards, according to a study by Millennia Media based on ad impressions. Ad impressions grew 92% according to that study, although Windows Phone still has low single-digit share against behemoths iOS and Android.

Those who have Windows Phone 7 devices seem to be enjoying them. WP7 users' data consumption is up 113%, which tops increases by iOS (86%) and Android (58%).

With WP7 on the upswing, however slight, Nokia's launch will amplify that momentum when its devices hit the streets. There are no indications yet when other countries will see them. No doubt just about every country that Nokia sells devices in will see them in 2012. The question is, how early into the new year?

As for the United States, Nokia has to build a few bridges with CDMA carriers. Nokia hasn't built a CDMA phone, but to be successful in the U.S., it cannot ignore Verizon or Sprint, which together command around half of the market.

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