Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is apparently in discussions to work with Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) by selling the new Lumia handsets that will have the new Windows 8 Phone operating system installed. As Verizon is the No. 1 wireless company in the country, this should come as a boon to Nokia, which is putting all of its smartphone eggs in the Windows basket, and establishing this contract just might be the start of Nokia’s revival.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) isn’t saying much publicly, but it has made moves to de-emphasize the iPhone from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and the devices running the Android operating system from Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), and it seems the logical step toward that is to increase competition by adding Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows phones to the lineup. This would be the first Windows-based phones sold by Verizon since May 2011, when Verizon began selling the Trophy by HTC Corporation, but it never took off.
Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) already has a good internal tie with No. 2 wireless carrier AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), as the company began selling the Lumia 900 Windows phone in May, and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has it as his phones that he uses. So it would be liekly that Nokia would gain a foothold in the U.S. by being allied with the definitive top two phone companies in the country.
In the most recent quarter, Windows-based mobile phones made up about 6 percent of the market, though that was up more than 200 percent from the previous year. Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android phones made up two-thirds of the market, while Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone made up about 17 percent. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) are due to have a joint press conference Sept. 5 in New York, where the two companies are expected to announce their synergistic relationship with Windows 8 Phone and the new Lumia handsets.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) has been dissuaded from selling the iPhones or Android-based phones due to subsidies, though Apple’s have been larger and more expensive. No indications as to whether Verizon will give Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) top billing this fall after Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) releases its new iPhone. But at least to be a part of the lineup of the nation’s No. 1 wireless company should be a boon for Nokia and its future. That would be good news for investors in the Finland-based company, including hedge funds like Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies.