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Sony Ericsson ditched Symbian last year in favor of Android, and the strategy has met with modest success. On Sunday, Nordberg announced that Verizon Wireless would carry a Sony Ericsson phone for the first time in years.

Elop said that he and other Nokia executives felt that adding Nokia’s production capacity to an already crowded field of Android phones would have forced prices down too sharply.

“We also believe firmly that creating a three-horse race was also in the best interest of consumers: It gives them more choice,” Elop told the AP.

Nokia also had more to give Microsoft than it had to give Google, Elop said. Its location and mapping services complement Microsoft’s Web search services. Google already has broad backing for Android, so it may not have been as willing to pay Nokia to switch as Microsoft was.

Analysts are now speculating that the phone makers that have supported Windows Phone 7, HTC Corp. and LG Electronics Inc., might be less inclined to do so with a giant like Nokia jumping into the game, supported by billions in Microsoft subsidies.

In his keynote speech Monday at the trade show, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer rebutted that suggestion.

Nokia’s support will help Windows Phone overall to build strength versus other mobile platforms,” Ballmer said. “That’s not just good for Nokia, that’s good for all our handset partners.”

Ballmer also demonstrated some of the improvements that are coming to Windows Phone 7 this year. They include a faster Web browser and quicker switching between applications.

Shares of Nokia fell 52 cents, or 5.6 percent, to close Monday at $8.84.