Windows Phone Tango will hit in Q2 2012, Apollo in Q4, leaked roadmap claims

About a week ago, someone in Finland told someone not in Finland (but with a blog) some things about when the next two versions of Windows Phone would be announced – and we had no choice but to bring you the exciting news.

Now announcements are one thing, but sometimes it takes many months until a product actually ships after it’s been unveiled. That has in fact happened with the first version of Windows Phone, which was announced during MWC 2010 in February, and only shipped in October last year.

So naturally you may be wondering when exactly you’ll see Windows Phone Tango or Apollo in shipping phones. Worry not, for we now have that information, courtesy of a leaked roadmap obtained by WMPoweruser. And it also has some details about these upcoming releases.

Windows Phone Tango will hit the streets in the second quarter of 2012 (so before the end of June). It will be quite disappointing though, especially if you were expecting thousands of new features. Its focus, like we’ve heard countless times before, will be simply being able to run on lower-end devices. This was probably one of Nokia’s requests to Microsoft made back when they were discussing what would become the (in)famous February 11 announcement (when Nokia adopted WP as its primary smartphone operating system).

The previous leak did say something about Tango also bringing LTE support, but we don’t have confirmation of that today.

Windows Phone Apollo will arrive in the fourth quarter of 2012 (so before the end of December – though expect it to show up internationally in October-November, so it doesn’t miss the all-important holiday shopping season). There will supposedly be an increased overall volume of devices shipping with Apollo, which will undoubtedly be good news for the platform (unless they will all be identical all over again).

Apollo will also apparently bring us “competitive superphones”. It remains to be seen whether they will be competitive through specs, pricing, or a combination of both. Today’s top of the line Windows Phones usually come with specs seen in midrange Android offerings, so specs bumps will surely help Microsoft’s OS in perception at least. While it is true that more processor cores don’t always equal more performance, people love comparing numbers, and we’ve been hard-wired to think that more is always better in the tech world. So Microsoft just has to accept that and deal with it. That said, we do hope that Apollo will bring quad-core support too (dual-core support is obviously in), otherwise Windows Phones will still be inferior, on a pure spec basis, to the Android flagships you’ll see one year from now. It’s almost certain that all of those will feature quad-core CPUs.

Business phones will also arrive sporting Apollo. Or this version of the OS will better cater to businesses. That’s alright, since if RIM doesn’t come back to life next year, many businesses will be looking to switch platforms, and Microsoft has traditionally been strong in that area of the market (at least for desktop products).

So, will Apollo in Q4 2012 be too little, too late from Microsoft? Or will it help its new smartphone OS finally reach the mainstream? What do you think?

Author: Vlad Bobleanta

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