Nokia Corporation (NOK) Hedging Its Bets on Windows Phone 8?

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) was trying to get new traction in the smartphone market late last year with the introduction of the Lumia line of handsets. But when that was overwhelmed by the tsunami that was the Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone, Nokia was on the verge of falling into an abyss of mobile irrelevance.

Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NOK), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

Now, it appears that Nokia is going to hedge its future bets on the Windows Phone 8 operating system from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), as well as its own education of sales associates at two of the four biggest carriers i the U.S. – AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA, the only two of the four biggest to currently carry Lumia phones.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) has been addressing the challenge of losing market share to Apple’s iOS and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating systems by first making the decision last year to ditch its own OS and latch onto the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone operating system. Well, now that Windows Phone 8 is being launched later this fall, and reports are out that No0kia will unveil its new line of Windows 8 smartphones at its Nokia World Conference in Helsinki next month, there is some buzz about the possibility of Nokia making a comeback.

To ensure it, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) has been sending a “Nokia Army” – company employees from all parts of the company – to U.S. carriers, taking Nokia phones with them and educating sales staffs on the features of the phones and talking up the company’s alignment with Windows Phone. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has bas just started in the smartphone business, but is already starting to gain some traction, with Windows Phone-based smartphone shipments up nearly 300 percent in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the same period of 2011, according to a quarterly report from the International Data Corporation (IDC). Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google  (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android phones made up about 90 percent of the market, and while AT&T (NYSE:T) offers those along with Windows Phone devices, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) will likely need to make headway with the largest U.S. carrier, Verizon Communications, INc. (NYSE:VZ) in order to return to profitability and viability in the smartphone market.

And Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) is hedging its best that an affiliation with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and its Windows Phone operating system, is just the key Nokia needs to get in Verizon’s door and get traction in the marketplace.