Windows Phone 8 will strengthen Nokia bond

Posted by Mike Luttrell

The latest details about Microsoft's newest mobile OS seem less about Microsoft and more about Nokia.

According to media reports, the new version of Windows Phone will bring a brand new maps app - not from Microsoft, but from Nokia.

Nokia will offer a 3D mapping solution at a time when Google and Apple are both vying to bring a similar service to their respective mobile platforms.

Nokia has very much stepped into the software world ever since it teamed up with Microsoft. The other feature that Windows Phone 8 will reportedly bring is Skype integration.

900,000 Nokia-branded devices were shipped in the fourth quarter of last year.

That is one-third of the total number of Windows Phone units that were sent, which was 2.7 million in total. Because of Nokia, Windows Phone shipments were up 36 percent.

Before Nokia stepped in, the top player in the Windows Phone field was HTC. The most important thing to keep in mind is that by the end of the fourth quarter, Nokia hadn't even begun shipping any Windows Phone devices to the US.

The first Lumia phone to hit the US came out in early 2012, but it was available in other regions late last year.

Of course, being the top Windows Phone manufacturer is kind of like being the best player in Little League - you'll still have a tough time competing in the MLB. In other words, Android and iOS are still dominating the market, and Nokia has a long way to go if it wants to legitimately compete in that field.

So far, Nokia has made quite an impression, and there is the possibility that it could almost single-handedly help bring Windows Phone within striking distance of the two larger smartphone OS players. It will need to continue innovating if it wants that to happen.