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Nokia Unveils First High-Speed LTE Windows Phone for AT&T

Nokia Oyj unveiled its first high-speed Windows Phone for AT&T Inc. at the Consumer Electronics Show, a key product for Microsoft Corp. as it tries to regain market share lost to Apple Inc. and Google Inc.

The Lumia 900 will be available in the coming months exclusively from AT&T, the second-largest U.S. wireless carrier, the companies said at an event in Las Vegas today. The handset will be one of the first Windows-based phones to use the next-generation wireless technology known as long-term evolution, or LTE. Nokia didn’t give details on price or an exact sales date.

AT&T is the biggest U.S. carrier to announce a Nokia Windows handset, making it a vital agreement for Microsoft, which saw disappointing initial sales for phones based on its software. Nokia is counting on Windows to revive sales in the U.S. and help it take back share after Samsung Electronics Co. surpassed Nokia as the biggest smartphone maker in the third quarter, according to researcher Gartner Inc.

“The Lumia 900 is not only about a great device, but it’s also about inspiring a great ecosystem,” Nokia Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop said at the event. “An ecosystem is more than just the apps, it’s more than the device, it’s more than the operating system. It’s also about search, it’s about gaming, and unified communications and location-based services, developer tools and so many other things.”

Working Together

Elop appeared onstage with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Ralph de la Vega, president of AT&T Mobility. The Lumia 900 will be available in black and cyan with a 4.3-inch (10.9-centimeter) display. It has cameras with wide-angle lenses on the front and back, and voice-enabled driving navigation.

HTC Corp. also announced an LTE Windows Phone earlier today. The Taiwanese handset maker, which is trying to recover from its first quarterly profit decline in two years, said the Titan II will be available in the coming months on AT&T’s network.

AT&T is expanding its LTE network and adding devices to catch up with larger rival Verizon Wireless, which has offered LTE devices for longer. AT&T is ahead of schedule expanding its LTE network, with service in 26 U.S. cities, John Stankey, head of business solutions at the Dallas-based company, said last week.

Nokia’s Windows Push

Last month, T-Mobile USA Inc. announced it would offer the Lumia 710, Nokia’s first handset to run Windows Phone software in the U.S. The device, targeting first-time smartphone buyers, will cost $49.99 after a $50 rebate and with a 24-month contract. It will be available Jan. 11.

Google’s Android boosted its share of the smartphone operating-system market to more than 50 percent in the third quarter, according to Gartner, more than double its share from a year earlier. Microsoft’s share dropped to 1.5 percent from 2.7 percent.

Microsoft’s Ballmer will give the opening keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show later today. The company said this year’s conference will be the last where any Microsoft executive gives a keynote address.

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