Nokia's Elop promises first Windows Phone products in Q4

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) CEO Stephen Elop reconfirmed that his company will deliver its first products running  Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone platform in the fourth quarter.

Nokia has long maintained that it will release its first Windows Phone device by year-end, and the handset maker is widely expected to unveil it at its Nokia World conference in London at the end of October. However, according to Reuters, Elop hinted that the company will release Windows Phone "products" in the fourth quarter, an indication that there may be more than one device coming.

Nokia spokeswoman Anna Martin told FierceWireless that Elop "was referring to what we've said before--that we're looking forward to revealing the first Nokia with Windows Phone smartphones to the world in the near future."

In the past few months videos and images have emerged of what many have described as Nokia's first Windows Pone device, dubbed "Sea Ray," which looks remarkably similar to Nokia's MeeGo-powered N9 smartphone.

Nokia's launch of its new smartphones comes against the backdrop of its declining handset and smartphone sales. Both Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung surpassed Nokia in smartphone sales for the first time in the second quarter. Nokia said it shipped a total of 88.5 million mobile phones in the second quarter, a year-over-year decline of 20 percent. The company said it shipped 16.7 million "smart devices" in the quarter, a 34 percent decline from a year ago. Apple, during its most recent quarter, shipped a whopping 20.3 million iPhones.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is confident that it can increase sales of its Windows Phone platform, which CEO Steve Ballmer has described as below where the company would like them to be. In an interview with AllThingsD, Microsoft's Windows Phone chief, Andy Lees, said features like a one-touch camera button and faster browsing through hardware acceleration are some of the ways the platform will remain competitive with Apple's iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android. He also said the ongoing rollout of the Mango software update, lower-cost devices and Nokia's entrance into the market will help spur sales.

According to research firm Gartner, Microsoft commanded just 1.6 percent of the global smartphone market in the second quarter, down from 4.9 percent in the year-ago period. Microsoft has consistently refused to specify what its sales to end users have been.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this AllThingsD article

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