Nokia teases new Qwerty phone announcement

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) appears to be planning to announce a new phone with a Qwerty keyboard on Wednesday, though it is not clear whether it will be a Lumia Windows Phone or some other class of device.

A Nokia post appears to hint at a yellow Qwerty phone.

Nokia said on its official Nokia Conversations blog that on Wednesday morning "we will be announcing something new, followed by a Q&A session with Neil Broadley from our Mobile Phones team and a special guest." The post includes an image of a yellow-colored phone showing the keys of a Qwerty keyboard.< /p>

Since the post mentions "Mobile Phones" and not "Smart Devices" it is likely that the phone will not be a Lumia product, since Nokia's Mobile Phones unit houses its non-smartphone devices. Further, Broadley is the director of sell in and technology marketing for Nokia's Mobile Phones division. A Lumia smartphone with a physical keyboard would be a first for Nokia and for Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone platform. Given the timing of the announcement (3 a.m. for the East Coast) the device is likely aimed at Europe or Asia, Engadget noted.

The launch could be Nokia's opening salvo in a wave of new product announcements. Last week Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said on the company's first-quarter earnings conference call that "later this quarter a new Lumia device is anticipated to have hero status with a leading U.S. carrier," which will likely be Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ).

Elop said this new Lumia will "mark the beginning of a season of new product introductions." According to the Financial Times, which cited unnamed sources, Nokia will release a number of flagship products this year, including its first "phablet." Nokia declined to comment on the report.

Nokia's total mobile phone shipments (including low-end feature phones and high-end smartphones) fell to 61.9 million in the first quarter, down 25 percent from 82.7 million in the first quarter of 2012. The company's shipments fell in every region around the world. During the first quarter Nokia shipped 6.1 million smartphones, of which 5.6 million were Lumia phones (500,000 were Symbian units). The 5.6 million Lumia shipments is a quarterly record for Nokia, up from 2 million in the year-ago period and 4.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

For more:
- see this Nokia post
- see this CNET article
- see this Engadget article

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