October 30th, 2012 12:38 AM
HELSINKI—Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia said Monday that it had chosen the second-biggest US operator, Verizon Wireless, to exclusively distribute its new Lumia 822 model when it is launched this autumn.
Nokia said the new phone, designed to appeal to first-time smartphone buyers, would be available at Verizon “this autumn” but did not specify an exact date or price.
A higher-end Nokia phone, the Lumia 920, is, meanwhile, expected to be exclusively launched in the United States through the country’s biggest operator AT&T, according to media reports.
Both launches are due in the first half of November, according to industry experts quoted in specialized media.
Verizon has some 95.9 million mobile phone subscribers, while AT&T has 100.7 million.
The success of the two models in the US, the market of reference for mobile telephony, is seen as crucial for Nokia’s future as it falls behind on the smartphone market amid stiff competition from Apple’s iPhone and Samsung.
In 2011, the Finnish company began phasing out its Symbian operating platform in favor of a partnership with US software maker Microsoft.