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Nokia exec talks about the advantage of carrier exclusives

Published Jul 12th, 2013 1:55PM EDT
Nokia Carrier Partnerships

Nokia announced the 41-megapixel-equipped Lumia 1020 at a press conference in New York City on Thursday. Unlike the iPhone 5, Galaxy S4 and HTC One, which are available across all major carriers in the U.S., the company’s upcoming flagship smartphone will launch exclusively on AT&T later this month. In fact, Nokia in the past year has created unique devices for AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Along with the 1020, AT&T offer the Lumia 920, while Verizon and T-Mobile carry the Lumia 928 and 925 respectively. Jo Harlow, the head of Nokia’s smartphone business, explained that carriers are more inclined to promote Windows Phones if they have an exclusive on the devices.

“Giving something exclusive or unique has been more of an incentive to support the devices in market,” Harlow said in an interview with AllThingsD.

The executive also acknowledged the downsides of exclusive partnerships, however, but she noted that while devices may not be available to consumers on their preferred network, Nokia doesn’t plan on changing its current strategy anytime soon. The company will instead focus on “rapidly introduced new models.”

The Lumia 1020 will be available from AT&T beginning July 26th for $299 with a new two-year agreement.