Microsoft continues Windows Phone onslaught with new models for AT&T, T-Mobile

A day after it was revealed that Verizon will be carrying its first new Windows Phone model in more than a year, reports have surfaced that new Windows Phone 8 handsets will be launched for AT&T and T-Mobile. At this pace, Windows Phone could well become a contender.

The Verge reports that two new Windows Phone 8 devices will be unveiled during a joint Microsoft-Nokia press conference on September 5. The devices are expected to be part of the Lumia line. I've reviewed the Lumia 900, and if these devices are like it, they'll be well-designed phones.

The Verge says that one device, code-named Phi, will likely sport a polycarbonate body like other Lumias, and have a large curved-glass display. It will be available on AT&T. The other phone, code-named Arrow, will be lower-end, and available on both AT&T and T-Mobile. The Verge reports that a phone much like the Arrow will also eventually be available on Verizon.

There appears to be three HTC Windows Phone 8 devices in the works as well, according to Neowin. No word, though, on which carriers might have them.

All this activity may well be a sign that Windows Phone will finally gain some traction. It means that new Windows Phone 8 devices will be available from the major carriers at the same time that Microsoft will be pushing Windows 8, so expect a massive marketing campaign to promote both platforms.

There's also reason to believe that carriers will finally get serious about Windows Phone, as a way to push back against Apple's demands for high revenue royalties for each iPhone that carriers sell. In addition to subsidizing the sale of iPhones, carriers pay $600 in revenue royalties to Apple for each iPhone.

As Yankee Group analyst Katie Lewis explained in her blog

"Mobile operators are sick of taking orders from Apple...iPhones are occupying an increasingly dangerous share of mobile operators' smartphone sales...The success of the third mobile ecosystem [Windows Phone] would put control over the U.S. smartphone market back into the hands of mobile operators -- backing Windows Phone is AT&T and Verizons chosen method of self-preservation."

Because of that, and the new lineup of Windows Phone 8 devices, Microsoft smartphone operating system may finally gain serious market share.

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