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Nokia will offer free Netflix to buyers of its latest Windows Phones in bid to boost sales

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Can streaming save sales of the Lumia this holiday season?

Netflix Windows Phone
Netflix Windows Phone

Anyone shopping for Nokia's Lumia 1020 this holiday season is in for a special treat, at least if they are buying in the UK. While Nokia is in the process of selling its handset business to Microsoft, the Financial Times reports (registration required) that it plans to offer one year of free Netflix to customers who purchase its devices on Vodafone.

Nokia, which once held a dominant position in the smartphone market, has seen its sales and profits plunge in recent years. In September it announced that it was selling its handset business to Microsoft for $7.2 billion. But while that deal is under review Nokia is still eager to make what it can of that business.

According to the FT, Nokia will be footing the bill for most of this giveaway. But Netflix has been pushing aggressively to expand into Europe and so likely would be willing to cover part of the bill as well. Microsoft, which has a vested interest in the success of Nokia phones as the flagship hardware for its mobile operating system, will be paying to support sales of the Lumia through traditional advertising. This is especially true for the UK, where Windows Phones make up 10 percent of the market, compared to 4-5 percent globally.