Nokia and Microsoft plan to throw a trump card by introducing the first Windows Phone 8 smartphone at a joint media event on September 5, a week before Apple is believed to be launching iPhone 5.
Nokia has not given out details of the launch but its chief executive Stephen Elop said on Wednesday that the company would soon release a new smartphone using Microsoft’s latest smartphone software. Elop did not deny a September launch but only said that Windows Phone 8 smartphones would be released in the “relatively near term.”
Nokia and Microsoft are pinning their hopes on the next Windows-based phones to challenge iPhone, which is believed to have a larger screen and 4G capabilities, and Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones. Their joint media event in New York will coincide with Nokia World, Nokia’s major showcase in Helsinki.
Speculations by mobile phone blogs are rife that Nokia will introduce three new handsets before launching Windows Phone 8 at the end of October. The new software will feature a host of upgrades including support for mobile payments.
Nokia has been fighting for survival after Apple and Samsung conquered the market in recent years. In 2011, Nokia abandoned its own mobile operating system, Symbian, and forged a software alliance with Microsoft, which had also been caught on its heels by the smartphone fall behind in smartphone boom. Their first collaboration, the Lumia 800, was well-reviewed but sales have been modest.
Despite the modest sales, Stephen Elop, who was brought in from Microsoft two years ago to lead Nokia’s fight against Apple and Samsung said, “In today’s war… between Android, Apple and Windows, we are very clear, we are fighting that with the Windows Phone.”