All eyes are on Nokia (NYSE:NOK) as the handset manufacturer attempts to reinvent itself by using Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone software to stand apart from competitors such as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the battle for smartphone market share.
Of course, key to Nokia's reinvention is its ability to woo U.S. operators, something the company has failed to do in the past. As the head of Nokia's North American efforts, Chris Weber will be in charge of delivering on that promise.
Weber and his team are off to a strong start. At the Consumer Electronics Show last month Nokia unveiled the LTE-capable Lumia 900 Windows Phone for AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), and T-Mobile USA started selling the Lumia 710 for $50 with a two-year contract.
But Weber admits he has a long way to go. The company has said it will make CDMA-based Windows Mobile smartphones, but has yet to announce any partnership with CDMA operators such as Verizon Wireless or Sprint Nextel. In addition, Weber knows that the company must reinforce its marketing message so that consumers and operators understand the benefits of the Windows Phone ecosystem and its value proposition.
Nevertheless, his enthusiasm is unwavering. The 16-year Microsoft veteran, who became the head of Nokia's North American division just a year ago, seems to understand the challenges that lie ahead. And he appears prepared to meet them.