Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V), in a bid to win back the lost ground from rivals Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930), has reportedly entered into an agreement with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) for sale of its new smartphone, reports Bloomberg.
The U.S. carrier is expected to launch a plan next month, offering Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V)’s Lumia 928. The new device from Nokia will have a metal body, 8- megapixel camera, 4.5-inch touch screen and wireless charging. Like other Lumia devices, 928 will also run on Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Windows software.
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The largest U.S. wireless carrier will for the first time be selling a high-end Lumia. The New Jersey-based Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) has about 100 million customers.
The Finnish company, after ruling the mobile segment for years, has been struggling to hold on to its declining smartphone market share. The company’s share has declined 19 percent this year, headed for the sixth straight annual drop. Since 2007, when iPhone and Android were unveiled, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V)’s stock has lost about 90 percent.
The handset maker revealed on April 18 that shipments to North America declined by 33 percent to 400,000 devices in the first quarter. The No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has been selling Lumia 920 since last year for $99.99 with a 2- year plan while Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) currently offers the Lumia 822. Globally, Lumia sales have improved to 5.6 million units from 4.4 million in the fourth quarter.
Nokia earlier forecasted to sell at least 7.11 million Lumia this quarter backed by a launch of new models worldwide. Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V)’s Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft employee, is betting big on Windows to help revive Nokia’s fortune.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) clearly dominate the global smartphone market with combined sales exceeding 100 million a quarter. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung together hold more than 90 percent of the market.
The news follows earlier reports that spotted Lumia 928 in the FCC’s and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)’s systems. Earlier this month, images of the handset was also leaked. There are also reports that Verizon will be holding a press event on May 22, and could very well announce the launch of Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V)’s Lumia 928.