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Nokia to Begin Lumia Rollout as Italy Debut Is Scheduled

Nokia Oyj, the Finnish phonemaker attempting a comeback, is set to start rolling out its new Lumia models, with Italian carriers and Sweden’s largest operator among the first to disclose a sales debut for the devices.

The handsets, the first Nokia phones using Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone 8 software, will be offered mid-November in Italy by Telecom Italia SpA, Vodafone Group Plc, 3 Italia SpA, and Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA, according to an e-mailed release from Nokia today. TeliaSonera AB says it will sell the device from Nov. 12, without adding pricing details. The Lumia 920 will be priced at 599 euros ($771) and the Lumia 820 at 499 euros at the Italian operators.

The rollout may assuage investor concerns that the devices will miss the crucial year-end holiday shopping season as Nokia seeks to challenge Apple Inc.’s iPhone and handsets using Google Inc.’s Android software. Nokia saw its share price slump on Sept. 5 when it unveiled the Lumia 920 and 820 in New York without disclosing pricing or carriers for the phones.

Nokia is nearing agreements with carriers and retailers in Europe and Australia to sell the new Lumias, with some partners unveiling their plans as early as today, a person with knowledge of the matter said earlier today.

Shares of Espoo, Finland-based Nokia rose 2.4 percent to 2.04 euros at 1:42 p.m. Helsinki time. They have lost more than 70 percent since February 2011, when the company said it would abandon its homegrown software and use the Windows operating system from Microsoft in its smartphones instead.

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