Rumor Mill: Nokia will release Windows Phone devices in Europe first

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Nokia (NYSE:NOK) will release its first devices running Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 7 in six European countries, according to a top Nokia executive in Europe. 

Speaking at the 2011 Telecompaper Mobile conference in the Netherlands, Victor Saeijs, vice president of Nokia Europe, told attendees that Nokia's first Windows Phone devices will land in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.K. first, later this year, according to a report on the Dutch site All About Phones. A Nokia spokeswoman, Anna Martin, declined to confirm Saeijs' comments or say where Nokia will release its first Windows Phone devices.

Interestingly, the launch plans do not seem to include Finland, Nokia's home country.

Saeijs' comments represent the first time Nokia has specifically elaborated on its go-to-market strategy for Windows Phone since the company announced in February that it was switching to Windows Phone as its primary smartphone operating system. Previously, the company had said only that it likely will sell its first Windows Phone device in the fourth quarter.

Nokia also has said it will release new devices running Windows Phone at a steady clip once it gets its first device into the market. "We should be launching new devices in a rhythm that might be every couple of months, every three months, something like that,"  Jo Harlow, Nokia's executive vice president of smart devices, said in an interview with PC Magazine in May.

Europe was Nokia's largest market for devices in the first quarter, with $2.97 billion in total sales. Greater China was second with $2.72 billion.

Saeijs also said Nokia is working on a large Symbian update for later this year in addition to the "Anna" update that has already been announced.

For more:
- see this All About Phones post (translated via Google Translate)
- see this WMPowerUser post

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