Nokia's New Phone is Nice But Won't Sell in U.S.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Another week, another new Nokia ( NOK) phone. This one is terrific, even if it won't sell as well as it should in the U.S.

This week it's a new, top-of-the-line Lumia model - the 925. It runs on Microsoft's ( MSFT) latest Windows Phone 8 operating system. It sports a nifty-looking 8.7 megapixel camera, interesting new photo software, optional wireless charging and a beautiful, lightweight aluminum body.

It's also the second announcement that Nokia has made outside of the United States market. Last week, their Asha 501 feature phone was announced in India. Southeast Asia and other emerging markets are where the Asha line is popular.

And, despite speculation that the new Lumia 925 will be coming to T-Mobile ( TMUS) in the United States, today's announcement was made in London. That's because Europe is actually the target market for Nokia's Lumia line.

First of all, Nokia is an European-based company and their products have always sold well there - and everywhere else, for that matter. For many years, they were the number one cell phone manufacturer on the planet. Except for the United States. Historically, Nokia has had their fans here but their designs just didn't click big in America.

Also, the United States is unique in that cellular phone manufacturers have to deal with more than one mobile standard if they want to do business here. That means they can sell one model in a particular region but would have to produce at least two (GSM and CDMA) and possibly four ( AT&T ( T), Sprint ( S), T-Mobile, Verizon ( VZ)) different models for the U.S. market.

But now, they have bigger problems to overcome, particularly that Nokia isn't making Android phones. When Nokia cleaned house and decided they needed outside assistance with modern-day smartphones they chose to align themselves with Microsoft and the Windows Phone operating system.

Don't get me wrong, the Windows Phone 8 OS is great. Windows Phones are great. And, Nokia's new Windows Phones are great. But, there's that problem of Apple and Google ( GOOG) Android. Their phones are great too. And, they're loaded with features, and everywhere you look there are print ads, TV ads and billboards touting just how popular they are.

And then there's the Microsoft Windows problem. Although the latest Windows Phone OS is quite good it took way too long to begin threatening the Apple/Google axis of products. Both of those other platforms were maturing - and, more importantly, attracting fans and developers - while Microsoft was busy playing catch-up and relaunch their mobile offerings a few times.

Plus, recent buyer antipathy toward the similar-looking Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems for computers aren't helping matters at all.

The bottom line is that despite all the changes - and despite the fact that they're creating wonderful designs - Nokia is still making phones that won't sell as well as they should here in the United States.

That's a shame. Because the Lumia 925 looks like it's a terrific device.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.