Report: Verizon to launch flagship Nokia Lumia 928 smartphone in May

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) will launch a high-end Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Lumia Windows Phone next month, according to a Bloomberg report, which could give Nokia's North American sales a badly needed shot in the arm.

The report, which cited unnamed sources, said the much-rumored device, the Lumia 928, has a metal body, 4.5-inch touchscreen display, 8-megapixel camera and wireless charging capabilities. According to The Verge's own unnamed sources, the phone will not have an aluminum frame but instead will have a thinner polycarbonate body. Leaked pictures of the phone indicate it is a variant of the Lumia 920 that AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) launched late last year.

Nokia and Verizon representatives declined to comment, according to Bloomberg.

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."

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.

Verizon launched the mid-range Lumia 820 in the fourth quarter but did not accord it special status in its device lineup. Getting heavy promotion from Verizon would likely help not only Nokia but the wider Windows Phone ecosystem, which has struggled to gain traction with consumers, especially in the U.S. market. T-Mobile USA will also soon launch the mid-range Lumia 521, but getting "hero" support from Verizon, the nation's largest carrier, could give Nokia's sales a boost depending on how heavily Verizon promotes the device.

In North America, Nokia shipped 400,000 units in the first quarter of 2013, down from 600,000 in the year-ago period and 700,000 in the fourth quarter. The phones were likely all Lumia phones running Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone platform.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this The Verge article

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