Nokia to release new Windows Phone devices at steady rate

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) will release new devices running Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone platform at a steady clip once it gets its first device into the market later this year, a senior Nokia executive said.

"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. Nokia has repeatedly said it plans to get its first Windows Phone device in the market this year, and will begin shipping in volumes next year.

The company's plans for its Windows Phone devices have been taking shape over the last week. Microsoft confirmed that the first Nokia Windows Phone devices will ship with the "Mango" version of the platform's software. Nokia also said last week that while it will use Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) chipsets for its first smartphones running Windows Phone, it is looking to other silicon suppliers, including ST-Ericsson, for chipsets beyond that.

Interestingly, Harlow said that Nokia's attitude toward working with CDMA carriers has changed and that Nokia, which has historically favored working with GSM carriers such as AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA, is holding discussions with all U.S. wireless carriers.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer also chimed in about the companies' relationship, which was forged in a wide-ranging mobile pact in February and completed formally in late April. "Certainly our partnership with Nokia is an important step forward with us...but the key there is not only to innovate on software, which we will work together over time, but also work on next-generation hardware innovations with them," Ballmer said while addressing a conference in New Delhi, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Harlow also said that the first MeeGo device from Nokia this year will be coming soon. There have been numerous leaks of specifications and videos of the device, which some have dubbed as the N9, but Harlow declined to comment on the rumors. "I'm not going to comment on what's been floating around the Internet," she said. "It'll be more of a high-end device that certainly will attract the early-adopter geek. I think there's some innovation there that we believe captures the imagination."

For more:
- see these two separate PC Magazine articles
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)

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