Nokia is reportedly considering launching its new Window 8 smartphone with a select number of European carriers in a departure from its traditional strategy.
According to the report, the purported deal would mean operators would take a financial stake in the launch, which Nokia hopes would lead to them supporting the handsets through special offers. Any deal would be similar to the launch of Apple's iPhone, which was an O2 exclusive when it first went on sale in the UK in 2007.
The Financial Times reported that the manufacturer has held exploratory talks with France Telecom. Another source suggested a joint procurement deal could be struck with Deutsche Telekom, meaning the phone could be fed through its Everything Everywhere joint venture. None of the parties commented on the story.
If the deal did go ahead it would represent a shift away from Nokia's mass market strategy of selling as many phones through as many carriers as possible.
Meanwhile, research by Strategy Analytics revealed that Nokia shipped 6.9 million devices between Q4 2011 and Q2 2012, compared to 3.7 million iPhones and 1.3 million Samsung Android phones during a comparitive period.
Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said: 'Based on historical shipment benchmarks, Nokia’s new Lumia portfolio is performing reasonably well. Some of the pessimism surrounding Nokia and Microsoft’s emerging partnership so far may be misplaced.
'However, Nokia and Microsoft are clearly not out of the woods yet. With a new Apple iPhone 5 on the horizon, and Samsung’s Galaxy S III selling in huge quantities, Nokia will need to pull something impressive out of the bag for the next generation Windows Phone 8 launch later this year to sustain its tentative early momentum.'
Editor: Graeme Neill