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Innovation

CES 2012: Nokia relying on Microsoft to get back in U.S. market

Nokia is trying its darndest to achieve a comeback in the the U.S. mobile market game, but is it too late?
Written by Rachel King, Contributor on

LAS VEGAS -- Nokia unveiled its new Lumia 900 smartphone on Monday, which is basically the company's big attempt to win back consumers in the United States.

It also might be the company's last opportunity -- at least stateside.

The Lumia 900 does have a fighting chance. The specs are top notch, and it is the first 4G LTE phone (set to operate using AT&T's expanding network) running the Windows Phone OS.

But then it became very obvious during Nokia's presentation at CES 2012 that Nokia is riding on the operating system as the major selling point.

It must have been a bit surprising to some attendees that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer would step out and promote the new Nokia handheld merely hours before his own keynote at the trade show.

See also: CES 2012: ZDNet’s news and product coverageCES 2012: CNET’s news and product coverage

Certainly, Microsoft is betting big on a Nokia comeback as well, but it always has other partners to rely on, such as Samsung and LG -- both of which are the top two mobile OEMs in the United States as of October 2011, according to comScore.

Of course, there is one glaring problem that might be evident to anyone who follows mobile news. That would be that while Windows Phone 7 is lauded by many for being aesthetically pleasing and fairly well functional inside and out, WP7 overall has not sold very well since its debut in October 2010.

Thus, while this might be the first Nokia device to incite any excitement among U.S. consumers in the last few years, this success or failure of the Lumia 900 could determine the fate of the Finnish phone maker as a major contender in North America (and possibly beyond).

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