AT&T to launch Nokia's Lumia 920 and 820, giving handset maker a boost

AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) said it will exclusively launch Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) flagship Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 smartphone and will also carry the mid-range Lumia 820.

AT&T Nokia Lumia 920 video

Click here for a video from AT&T of the Nokia Lumia 920 in action.

AT&T did not provide pricing or a specific launch date but said the devices would be available in November. The support for both of Nokia's first Windows Phone 8 smartphones bodes well for Nokia's fourth-quarter sales and builds on the relationship AT&T and Nokia started earlier this year when the carrier exclusively launched the high-end Lumia 900. AT&T initially launched the Lumia for $99.99 with a two-year contract.

Both the Lumia 920 and 820 will run on AT&T's LTE network, which AT&T plans to expand to cover around 150 million POPs by year-end. The Lumia 920 has a dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon S4 processor and a 4.5-inch Pure Motion HD+ display, which Nokia says is its best screen. The 820 has a 4.3-inch display, a dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 8 GB of storage, 1 GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel camera. Nokia's mapping and location services also stand out on the 920, including its Transport app for mapping public transportation and its City Lens augmented reality service.

The 920 also has an 8.7-megapixel camera with Nokia's "PureView" camera technology, which Nokia introduced at the Mobile World Congress trade show in February. Nokia has said the technology allows the camera to captures between five and 10 times more light and produce clearer images than other phone cameras, and then can be used to either zoom in on all of those pixels or increase image quality through interpolation. Additionally, the camera's optical image stabilization technology produces steadier video capture.

Nokia badly needs its new Lumia phones to sell well in the market, especially in the U.S. market. Nokia reported selling 600,000 devices in the North American market--likely almost exclusively Lumias--in both the first and second quarter of the year, an indication that its phones are not gaining much traction.

The new Lumias will compete with all of the hottest smartphones from other OEMs in the fourth quarter, but will go head-to-head on the Windows Phone front with HTC's Windows Phone 8X and 8S. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and HTC plan to launch a joint marketing campaign for the phones, which will be sold through AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ). Verizon has committed to working with Nokia on Windows Phone but has not said whether it will launch a Nokia phone in the fourth quarter along with its other planned Windows Phone launches.

The Lumias are one piece of AT&T's emerging holiday handset lineup. Along with Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), AT&T will launch the LG Optimus G, LG's high-end LTE smartphone with a quad-core Snapdragon processor. AT&T will also launch the HTC One X+, which sports LTE and Nvidia's quad-core 1.7 GHz Tegra 3 chip. Additionally, AT&T has said it will also support Sony Mobile Communications' Xperia TL, which sports a 13-megapixel camera, 4.5-inch HD display and DLNA technology for sharing media.

For more:
- see this AT&T release
- see this AllThingsD article
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this The Verge article

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