T-Mobile first in U.S. to sell Nokia Windows Phone

Just missing the holiday shopping season, T-Mobile will start selling the Nokia Lumia 710 in January

T-Mobile will be the first U.S. operator to offer a Nokia phone running Windows Mobile when it starts selling the Lumia 710 early next year.

The operator on Monday announced that the phone would hit the shelves on Jan. 11, just missing the holiday buying season. The Lumia 710, a low-end smartphone already available in other parts of the world, will cost US$50 after a $50 mail-in rebate and with a two-year contract.

The Lumia 710 will run on T-Mobile’s high-speed network, has a 3.7-inch display, a 5-megapixel camera and runs on a Qualcomm 1.4 GHz Snapdragon processor. It comes loaded with Nokia Drive, a voice-guided navigation app, and Microsoft apps including Bing Search with voice activation, Xbox Live and the Windows Phone Office Hub.

In an announcement about the phone, T-Mobile said it is targeting the device at people who have wanted a smartphone but think they are too expensive.

While the Lumia 710 runs Windows Phone 7.5, it’s not the most anticipated Nokia Windows Phone. The Lumia 800, already available outside of the U.S., is a high-end smartphone from Nokia that has received positive reviews. No U.S. operator has yet announced plans to sell the phone.

T-Mobile and Nokia are hosting an event in New York City Wednesday night during which they are expected to celebrate the launch of the new phone.

Nokia announced earlier this year that it would start using Windows Phone, instead of Symbian, to power its smartphones. The two Lumia models are the first phones to come from the new partnership between the companies, which are both struggling to improve their standings in the smartphone market.

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