Apart from showing off a Windows Phone concept that will likely never become a real device, Nokia has been reluctant to provide any info on its upcoming hardware made in collaboration with Microsoft.
However, if these new details coming from Mobile-review’s Eldar Murtazin are correct, we now have the names of Nokia’s very first Windows Phone devices: W7 and W8. We also have the inside scoop about the internal thinking and plans for other Nokia Windows Phone handsets.
Currently, Nokia has only one working Windows Phone prototype – Nokia W7, which is based on the recently announced X7 (has the same chassis), but comes with better (WVGA) display, Qualcomm QSD8250 Chipset, and an 8 megapixel autofocus camera. Since it’s the only working prototype with which Nokia engineers are learning how to work with Windows Phone, it’s highly likely that this will be the first Nokia Windows Phone model in the market. Nokia’s Management is pushing for a late 2011 launch, but it’s very likely that the release may slip to Q1 2012. In its current state, the Nokia W7 strongly reminds of the HTC Mozart.
All other Nokia Windows Phone devices are still on the drawing board, and neither their design, nor their specs have been finalized. Currently, 3 new handsets are planned:
Nokia W8 – a new Windows Phone imaging flagship, scheduled for Q2 2012. The goal is to make W8 the most powerful Windows Phone at the time of launch. Nokia W8 will keep the basics/ideology of the N8′s design (albeit the design is not finalized yet). It should get a camera solution from the N8, with a Dual Core Qualcomm CPU, and Adreno 320 GPU. But, except for camera, the specs are in flux, because Nokia lacks experience of working with Qualcomm chips, and does not have good relations with the chip giant, to put it mildly.
Touchscreen QWERTY candybar – along the lines of E71-E6. The E71 line is one of Nokia’s more popular, and the company wants to bring this form factor to Windows Phone. The new WP device will have a metal body, a touchscreen, and a QWERTY keyboard. There’s no actual design yet. Nokia is working on some service for corporate users that should become the unique selling point for this device, but it’s unclear what this service can be. The phone is scheduled for April/May 2012, and the planned retail price should be around 350EUR.
Cheap touchscreen. This model is being developed to become the cheapest WP offering. Most likely, the specs will be similar to the ones of Nokia W7, but made with cheaper materials, a simpler camera solution etc; This phone should make it to market in early 2012.
For 2012, Nokia plans include 12 more Windows Phone devices, for a total of 16 models. But the work on those hasn’t even started, as for now Nokia is just developing the model line-up and positioning.
While strongly focused on Windows for now, Nokia is keeping other options open as well. The company is currently carefully exploring Android products, and if sales of Nokia WP handsets fail to take off, they might still switch to Android.
For now, Nokia’s WP plans are very much in flux. They have only one working prototype, and are just learning to work with the Windows Phone platform. The specs and features of devices can (and do) change very often, as new information about available hardware, compatibility issues and so on comes to light.
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