Finally coming this fall?
Bloomberg is going on record tonight claiming that Verizon will launch a new Windows Phone 8 device this year from Nokia. The online news site generally has a strict policy on reporting these types of stories, lending a lot of credence to its trust-worthiness (81% on Tracour)—that and of course it’s basically what we’re expecting to hear.
News that Verizon will be launching a Nokia Windows Phone is not very shocking—in fact, it may have been more news if they weren’t at this point. Verizon was critical of Windows Phone for not having LTE early on and then evidently they caught wind of the Windows Phone 7 phase-out with new, more powerful ‘Apollo’ devices.
The decision seems to have resulted in them sitting out the last few months in order to launch their preferred phone from Nokia, with LTE and with a solid, cutting edge mobile operating system.
Bloomberg mentions that although Nokia and Microsoft are having a joint announcement on September 5th, Verizon is not expected to be there to announce a phone. That’s not too unheard of as they are the number one rival of AT&T, who tends to get the premier Windows Phone devices. To see them both carriers share the stage to announce similar phones would be a little awkward, especially since Verizon will presumably get a customized device that is exclusive for their network. From Bloomberg's report:
"While Verizon isn’t expected to be part of that event, the carrier intends to roll out a Nokia phone later, said the person, who asked not to be named because the plans are private. "
From that news we can also discern that whatever is revealed on the 5th, AT&T will be getting the “big” device and they will get it first. That has been the tradition for every major Windows Phone release or refresh and we expect that pattern to continue. Regarding T-Mobile, we can’t say for sure if they will be there for the Nokia press conference but they have been a big supporter of the excellent Lumia 710. That device has also performed well for them, ranking in the top 5 devices since its release, so it is safe to assume they will continue that relationship.
The other thing we can determine from this news, assuming it is accurate, would be Verizon customers won’t get this device until later in the year, presumably around the holiday season. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for business but of course if you are on Big Red, sooner is better.
Either way, having Verizon on board is a big endorsement for Microsoft's new operating system. Combined with AT&T and T-Mobile it should offer Microsoft at least a fighting chance for success.
The only remaining question now is What will that Verizon Nokia Lumia device will feature in terms of specifications? Will it be a mid-range or flagship phone?