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How close are we to a Nokia Windows Phone 8 device?

If there is one thing we can say about Nokia and Microsoft lately is that both companies have faith in their products. Whatever the sales or marketshare figures show, the Windows Phone OS and Nokia hardware are a brilliant combo.

So we’re relishing the words by Chris Webber, Nokia’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, who Tweeted this morning a nice little message to rival Samsung:

“Samsung take note, next generation Lumia coming soon.”

It is a bit unusual for companies to directly call each other out so publicly, which is why this probably has garnered so much attention. If we wanted to deconstruct that tweet a bit we could highlight the usage of “note” by Weber as a hint to Nokia’s upcoming Windows Phone 8 plans. Samsung has quite successfully launched and sold a few GALAXY Notes in recent months (see our hands on when we compared it to the HTC Titan).

While there is no evidence that Nokia will be offering a massive 5”+ device come early September, rumors around the Nokia ‘Phi’ have suggested a device with a quite large 4.65” screen, akin to the HTC Titan series. (We’ve previously expressed to Nokia the desire for large screen devices back at Mobile World Congress; at the very least they were interested in our appeal).

Then again, that’s probably reading a bit too much into it and instead was just a playful jab at Samsung. But it does raise some other interesting questions for discussion.

The Lumia line of phones for Nokia so far have been a critical success but it remains to be seen if they can catch on with mass adoption. With what appears to be an accelerated launch plan, Microsoft and Nokia may be rushing their next-generation devices to market sooner than expected.

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Gearing up for production?

Those recent leaks of parts for upcoming Nokia handsets suggest that pre-production units have already rolled out and mass-production is gearing up. That’s good news as we may be getting some Nokia devices with Windows Phone 8 sooner than the previously anticipated “end of October” timeframe.

With Apple expected to announce the iPhone 5 on September 12th, Nokia and Microsoft will beat them to the punch for revealing their next contender for Über-smartphone one week earlier.

But Apple is still predicted to actually launch their phone sooner. That’s because Apple enjoys unparalleled control over the OS and hardware that Microsoft lacks, not to mention the ability to dictate launch-dates to carriers. For even if Microsoft and Nokia have their next-generation Lumia ready, it still needs to bend to a carrier’s launch cycle (presumably AT&T, maybe Verizon) adding a wrinkle to any planned “surprise” unveiling. And that’s really the issue here: How long will we have to wait until we can actually purchase a Nokia Windows Phone 8 device?

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At the very least, it does look like Microsoft and Nokia are fast-tracking plans, which shows a new, more agile strategy for both companies.  That’s good news. But are we now expecting too much, too soon?

Let’s hope they adapt well and don’t disappoint come September 5th.

Windows Phone Central will be covering the Nokia-Microsoft event live from NYC, on September 5th starting at 9:30am ET.

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