AT&T steps closer to selling Nokia Lumia phones

Nokia's Windows Phone plans for the US market got clearer this week. Bloomberg reports that Glenn Lurie, the head of AT&T's tablet division, confirmed that the wireless carrier is indeed in talks with Nokia about offering its Lumia smartphones for sale on its network. AT&T's talks were previously reported via unnamed sources but were unconfirmed until this week.

From Lurie's comments, it sound like the deal between AT&T and Nokia is close to completion. As to when the Lumia phones might start showing up on US shores, Lurie said, "We look at every promotional period separately and decide what we’re going to spend our dollars on and what we’re going to put our efforts in. But nothing to announce there on that yet."

The article also quotes Tero Kuittinen, described as an "independent industry analyst", as saying that AT&T will likely start selling the Lumia phones sometime in the first quarter of 2012. But why not right now, especially as the Lumia 800 is now on sale in parts of Europe? Kuittinen said, "The carriers are acting skittish and I think AT&T may not want to give Lumia a Christmas season slot."

Lurie also commented on Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system, particularly on its chances of doing well in the tablet space that's currently dominated by Apple's iPad. Lurie said that as far as Windows 8, Microsoft has "potentially a very good addition to the tablet business. You look at Microsoft and they own the desktop. They’ve got an advantage there."

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I'm glad to hear something about Nokia's phones coming to the US. Hopefully Verizon's in talks with them too. Verizon really needs to take Windows Phone seriously.