Rumor Mill: Nokia to release Lumia 920 in November
Nokia (NYSE:NOK) will release its new flagship Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 smartphone in November, according to multiple reports. The rumored launch date will allow Nokia to get the phone into market for the holiday shopping season but will come weeks after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to start selling the next iPhone.
According to a Reuters report, which cited unnamed sources at mobile operators in Europe, Nokia will launch the Lumia 920 at different times in November depending upon the country. The report did not include details about the mid-range Lumia 820 but presumably the devices--which were both introduced at a media event Wednesday--will be launched around the same time.
The Reuters report said that, according to an unnamed executive at an eastern European operator, sales of the Lumia 920 will in the second half of November, with larger countries receiving the model earlier that month.
Nokia declined to comment. Nokia did not provide pricing or carrier partnership details for the new phones at its media event Wednesday, though the company said the devices will be available in key markets in the fourth quarter.
Separately, a report from The Verge said that, according to unnamed sources, AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) is currently testing the Lumia 920. Nokia is working with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and AT&T to have the phone ready for a Nov. 2 launch, but the report noted that the date could slip. AT&T launched Nokia's last major Lumia phone, the 900, in April. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) has committed to working with Nokia on Windows Phone but has not said whether it will launch a Nokia phone in the fourth quarter along with its other planned Windows Phone launches.
An early November launch timeline would put Nokia at more of a sales disadvantage relative to Apple and handset makers using Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android. The two-month time lag between the devices' introduction and their commercial launch also runs counter to Nokia CEO Stephen Elop's stated philosophy of speeding up Nokia's operations and getting devices into the market soon after they are announced.
Yet the timeline makes sense if rumors that Microsoft will formally launch Windows Phone 8 Oct. 29 are to be believed. A recent ZDNet report, citing an unnamed source, indicates that Microsoft is likely to hold an event on the West Coast Oct. 29 to officially inaugurate the commercial availability of Windows Phone 8. Microsoft has only said that the platform will launch this fall. Such a launch would coincide with Windows 8's commercial availability; both platforms will allow developers to write to the Windows NT kernel, which should make it easier for developers to make cross-platform apps.
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