updated 11:16 am EDT, Mon July 23, 2012
Offers revenue split, handset support to networks
Nokia is reportedly considering offering an exclusive Windows Phone 8 smartphone launch to European carriers in exchange for a revenue split. The offer, if accepted by phone networks, would see Nokia offering not only Windows Phone 8 handsets but also a support service, in a move mirroring Apple's exclusivity deals when it first released the iPhone in June 2007.
Nokia typically embraces widespread distribution across several available channels, making the switch to exclusivity agreements with a few carriers a significant strategic change for the company. Reports suggest France Telecom is currently in discussions with the phone maker. Although it is in an exploratory stage, if France Telecom joins with Deutsche Telekom, it could also reach Orange and T-Mobile in the UK through Everything Everywhere, despite T-Mobile Germany not stocking the Lumia 900 due to a lack of an upgrade path to Windows Phone 8.
It is widely rumored that the Lumia 910 will be on sale in the near future, as one of the first devices to ship with Windows Phone 8. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop previously spoke of large losses in the second quarter of 2012, but hinted at further price cuts on the WP7 Lumia line as the WP8 launch date approaches. [via Financial Times]