AT&T to sell Nokia's first Windows 8 phones

Nokia Lumia 920 Sarah Tew/CNET

NEW YORK Lending support to two companies struggling to make a comeback in smartphones, AT&T (T) said Thursday it will be selling Nokia smartphones that run Windows Phone 8, Microsoft's (MSFT) upcoming software release.

The phones are a critical part of Nokia's attempt to stem its rapid decline from the position as the world's largest maker of phones. The Finnish company's presence in the U.S. market has been very small in recent years, but AT&T and T-Mobile have been selling Nokia's earlier Windows Phones.

AT&T said it will be the only U.S. carrier to sell the high-end Lumia 920 phone, at least initially, and will also sell the cheaper Lumia 820. The phones will go on sale in November. AT&T didn't say what they would cost.

For Microsoft, the new software is a continuation of an effort to get its software back into smartphones.

AT&T also said it would release HTC's Windows Phone 8X in November, running the same software.

AT&T shares rose 13 cents to $38.31 in afternoon trading Thursday. They are near their 52-week high of $38.58 set two weeks ago.

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