AT&T Inc., the second-largest U.S. wireless carrier, will announce plans today to sell Nokia Oyj’s first device running on Windows Phone 8 software for the U.S. market, two people with knowledge of the plan said.
Nokia unveiled the Lumia 920 phone last month as one of two devices with Microsoft Corp.’s new Windows operating system, without giving a release date or saying what carriers would offer it. AT&T is planning to host a showcase of new devices today in New York. The phone won’t be immediately available for sale after the unveiling, said the people, who asked not to be identified because details of the event aren’t public.
The Lumia phones are the linchpin of a comeback plan for Nokia, which has struggled to compete with Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Google Inc.’s Android. Microsoft also is counting on the Nokia devices to help it win back market share in smartphone software. The Lumia 920, which sports a 4.5-inch screen, would be the first Windows Phone 8 model to be sold in the U.S.
Nokia, based in Espoo, Finland, has identified the U.S. as a key market in its global turnaround bid. AT&T, a close Nokia partner, began selling the Lumia 900 exclusively earlier this year. That phone uses older Microsoft software.
Nokia rose 1.3 percent to 2.07 euros at 10:30 a.m. Helsinki time. AT&T shares climbed 1 percent to $38.17 yesterday in New York, and Microsoft added 0.7 percent to $29.86.
Brad Burns, a spokesman for Dallas-based AT&T, didn’t respond to a request for comment. Chris Hollis, a Nokia spokesman, declined to comment.
Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. carrier, plans to start selling a Nokia Windows Phone 8 model later this year, a person familiar with the situation said in August.
The Lumia 920 has a brightly colored plastic body and a spring mounted, 8.7-megapixel camera. It features software called City Lens that displays the names of restaurants and shops when users point their camera at them. Special maps software also shows customers nearby attractions.
Carriers outside the U.S. that have so far announced plans to sell the Lumia 920 include operators in Italy and Sweden. In Italy, the phone will be priced at 599 euros ($774).