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Release Date

Next week, Microsoft is expected to unveil Windows Phone 8.1. Usually with big OS refreshes you get a few hardware launches, as well. That’s no different this time around as we’re expecting the Lumia 630 (aka ‘Moneypenny’), Lumia 930 (aka ‘Martini’, a non-Verizon version of the Icon) and eventually ‘Goldfinger’, which we hear is going to be a somewhat radical departure in terms of user interaction.

One of those 8.1 launch devices is reportedly the Samsung ATIV SE, another refresh from Samsung destined for Verizon. Not much is known about this device except that it may have a five inch, 1080P display and that it’s being built for Windows Phone 8.1. A render has been leaked by Evleaks that suggests a strong similarity between it and other ATIV devices in terms of aesthetics.

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With yesterday’s all but obvious teaser for the Lumia Icon – otherwise known as the Lumia 929 – you would suspect that a launch date and announcement wouldn’t be too far off from now. Granted, expected dates have come and gone in the past, but now that Verizon stores are receiving inventory for accessories and Nokia US is tossing up videos, we’re much more confident this time around.

The latest intel has the Lumia Icon due for availability on Thursday, February 20th. Verizon traditionally launches new devices on that day of the week, so that lines up with expectations. It also matches anticipations that this device will come out before Mobile World Congress (so don’t expect it to be announced there).  

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This morning we’ve received some confirmation from a trusted source about the Verizon Nokia Lumia 2520, the 10.1-inch Windows RT 8.1 tablet with the codename ‘Sirius’. The tablet will be Nokia’s first Windows RT 8.1 tablet, though certainly not the last as AT&T and others are expected to get the device too.

Pricing is set for $499, which matches Paul Thurrott’s earlier reporting, and it should go on sale to Verizon customers on November 17th (possibly the 18th). Colors options available to customers include “black and red” though it’s not clear if those are separate options or just one. It will feature 32 GB of internal storage with expandable memory.

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Rumour had it we'd be seeing the Xbox One launch in the US on November 8th. Unfortunately, this is not the case as Kotaku has now reported a source close to Microsoft states the console will not be released on the day, but will come at a later date. Still aiming for November, as promised by Microsoft, we can expect to see the next-gen machine hit stores sometime later in the month.

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While we didn’t get a new Xbox LIVE game today for our Windows Phones, fear not as you were merely being teased. Yes, tomorrow at some time you will officially be treated to the long awaited Halo: Spartan Assault for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

The information comes ironically from the official website (Halo Waypoint), which details the exact date as July 18th for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 devices. Even more interestingly, they detail how Verizon has the exclusive here in the US, which we told you about last week, for 30 days. That’s not too bad of a wait and should give Verizon customers something to be happy about. In the meantime, T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T users can keep themselves occupied with the Windows 8 PC or tablet version.

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Things are starting to heat for Verizon users as more and more information is coming out about the ‘Laser’ Lumia 928, an updated version of the Lumia 920. In our forums, an employee of Verizon (‘Honestabebread’) posted that “Easter time” was the release window for this phone, and now the Verge is claiming that the phone is coming in April.

The phone will reportedly feature an aluminum body (versus the current polycarbonate) and as a result be thinner and lighter than the current 920. In addition, the flash will be upgrade to a xenon-LED flash combo. Other features include a 4.5-inch OLED display and support for simultaneous voice and LTE (SVLTE) with a look more resembling a Lumia 720 (squared) than the current 920.

The Lumia 928 passed through the FCC way back in February, meaning the device should be cleared for release soon.

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A Vodafone store located in Baden-Württemberg, Germany has confirmed on its Facebook page that both the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 will be available from November 1st. Being only 17 days away, there's still Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 event on October 29th to get through first, but it's good to know there's not much longer to wait out.

Nokia's Apollo hardware will not only be available from Vodafone in Germany on the first day of next month, but also Media Markt. The latter has already revealed November 1st as the release date, which we covered yesterday. It's good to see more than one source to look at when checking pricing to make the best investment.

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Good news for T-Mobile users as you can start to expect the HTC 8X to be available for purchase on Wednesday, November 14th.  That date actually falls in line with things we’ve heard in the past and leaked roadmap via TmoNews only confirms that information.

Unfortunately, no word on when the just announced Nokia Lumia 810 will arrive, but it’s starting to look like it may come after the 14th since it doesn’t yet appear to be scheduled. Plus we still know nothing of the Samsung "Odyssey" either.  Of course, like all dates, pricing and device availability news, we’re sure to find out more in the coming weeks and especially on October 29th.

Source: TmoNews

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The Nokia Lumia 920 - Coming Sunday, November 4th

Recently Windows Phone Central went on record that AT&T’s plans for the Lumia 920 (and presumably other Windows Phones) was to have an in-store sale date of Sunday, November 4th. We now have had another confirmation via a well placed source in AT&T that this is information is accurate.

We also previously mentioned that on October 21st AT&T is planning to finally announce the above release date and the pricing of the Lumia 920. That info is also still precise.

Presumably a pre-order date will follow on that Friday the 26th, giving just over one week time before the phone can be bought in stores. Much like the Lumia 900 release, we assume that if you pre-order, you will get the phone on Friday, November 2nd before residential deliveries stop for the weekend.

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Coming to the US on October 21st? Not likely.

File this under wishful thinking and maybe true but BGR’s Geller personally posted that they’ve confirmed through sources the AT&T launch date for the Nokia Lumia 920. On Tracour, only has a 52% average rating on rumor accuracy, so take this rumor with some skepticism. 

The flagship Windows Phone from Nokia is reportedly going to launch on October 21st—a traditional Sunday launch for the company. In addition, the Samsung Galaxy Note II will launch the same day. That contradicts earlier rumors from the Verge and TechRadar who suggested November 2nd--the last day of Microsoft's Build '12.

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October 26th, 2012. That’s the date folks and it’s a Friday, in case you were wondering.

Microsoft today (via Steven Sinofsky) just revealed at Microsoft’s annual sales meeting that Windows 8 for customers will be available for download and on new PCs too starting at the end of October. With a $40 upgrade fee in place, purchasing a license for the much hyped OS should be easy and painless. 

So where does that leave Windows Phone 8? We’re betting we’ll see a similar release pattern and time-frame for their next mobile OS. We have a feeling Microsoft is going for a big launch, dominating tech headlines for weeks to come. While it will be hard to coordinate with carriers, we’re hoping their strategy is aiming for a universal release.

For the last two years, Microsoft has released new Windows Phones in October/November so we’re hoping for a repeat this time around too.

At least that’s our expectation.

Source: Microsoft

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We first told you that AT&T was planning on an April 8th (online) and 9th (stores) release for the Lumia 900 and sure enough, it's accurate. Since that report we've had numerous tips from store employees on the matter all stating the same dates, so we think it's safe to call it now.

Reader David just returned from an AT&T store where an employee had both phones (black and cyan, see above) to toy with. Here are his thoughts:

"Also, the matte finish on the back cover makes the phone feel SUPER nice in hand and you only notice the 4.3" screen with one-handed use.  Also, with its' rectangular corners and flat front/back panels, the pocket is a really nice place for it to go about the day with you. Nokia did a really awesome job with this one and I can't wait for April 9 to get here!"

Indeed. From our hands on experience (see here), the Lumia 900 is set to impress and with the April 9th launch date confirmed, it should be an exciting Easter for many of you, so long as you start saving your pennies now.

The Nokia Lumia 900 features a 4.3" AMOLED screen, 1.4GHz CPU, 1830mAh battery (non-replacable), 16GB of storage, 8MP rear and 1.3MP front cameras with 4G LTE support. It is expected to sell for $99 on contract. Online orders should start Sunday, April 8th with in-store availability April 9th. No word on full-price yet.

Thanks, David, M., for the tip

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No official word on any Lumia 900 release yet for AT&T (though there are mints floating around), but that hasn't stopped some new rumors from springing up. This one comes from a poster at the Verge forums who claims to work for AT&T. The latest date? Sunday, April 8th aka Easter:

"I'm an assistant manager with an att store in California. We are gearing up for the Nokia lumia launch and were going all out. cant say much more but its tentative for April 8 as far as I understand. I And other sales reps are having mandatory trainings on the Nokia 900 soon and that usually means its launching shortly after. You don't have to believe me but just giving you a heads up. I think early reports said April 18th so its a little earlier than that. Cant wait! we got the demo in last week and I've been very impressed with the phone. Its a sexy b---. As far as colors go we are only getting black and cyan. the white one will come when the phone performs well, like we did with the sky rocket "

Interestingly, we also have a comment from Jess82 responding to our post who says nearly the same thing:

"I work for att and were training for the 900. I've been told its April 8th."

Coincidence? The same person? Who knows but April 8th is an odd date only because we imagine many AT&T stores would be closed that day, being a holiday and all, although perhaps you could still order it by phone. Another comment comes from GB330033 who notes that Nokia is close lipped about the 900 release date on AT&T but they did reveal that it's "very soon" and we "won't be disappointed" by the release date.

For what it's worth, we have it from our verified source that the finalized software for the AT&T Lumia 900 goes out tomorrow, meaning AT&T needs to re-flash all their stock.

Of course this is the internet and anyone can say anything, so lets not put too much faith in these. Hopefully AT&T can save us from silly-season around these parts and shed some light on the issue, officially.

Update: As noted in comments by Jess82 (who also posted at the Verge), the 8th is for online/phone orders and the 9th is when stores will sell it. Interestingly, the site Nokia For Us ran a story last week noting that they heard the 8th as well. 

Thanks, Theo, for the heads up

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File this under "awesome use of a web page". Nokia has published up a very colourful map showing all the countries Lumia has so far invaded, as well as where it plans to go in the future.

In terms of information, the map tells us that the UK is unlikely to see the Lumia 900 any time soon (in fact the 800 is the only listed device), whereas the rest of Europe will find release dates for the 800 and/or the 710. For those of you living in the states, you'll see that the 710 is released tomorrow, with both the Lumia 800 and 900 to follow in the coming months.

But it's not all pretty colours and release dates. If you click on each country you'll see related media, reviews and tweets - including the footage from the Nokia Lumia Live event with Deadmau5 in London.

All in all, it's a page well worth a few minutes of your time to bring a bit of colour to your life.

Source: Nokia Lumia Momentum map; Thanks, TheWeeBear, for the tip!

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It's official - the Nokia Lumia 800 (our review) is set to be released into the wild in Sweden on January 23rd and you can pre-order it now.

The country has already seen the Samsung Omnia W being added to carriers, but now it's Nokia's turn according to an official statement. The Windows Phone will be on Telia, Tele2, Telenor and Three (Sweden), as well as a number of retail stores just three-weeks from now. The price tag of the handset is aimed to be around the 3900 SEK ($560) mark.

Source: Nokia, via:

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AT&T Samsung Focus S coming October 11th?

We've seen the Radar 4G on T-Mobile get a date and now we may, we stress may, have a date for the much coveted Samsung Focus S: October 11th.

Yikes, that's just days away if true. The date comes from InfoTech who is saying that the device will be "released at the CTIA wireless association exhibition on October 11 in San Diego" which is certainly not the craziest thing we've heard. In fact, kicking it off at CTIA makes total sense for Samsung as they can get plenty of press coverage (and yes, we'll have someone there from our Smartphone Experts community there to check it out).

Now, just because Samsung shows off the Focus S at CTIA, we're not sure that means it'll be available for us to buy that day too. So we're more apt to say it gets announced with a release soon thereafter. Either way, we'll be on the ground to cover anything if it happens. But seeing as this bad boy has cleared the FCC already, there really is no reason for AT&T to wait.

Update: We've been tipped that the phone will be available the first week of November in retail. (Thanks, Jason)

Thanks, XboxOmac, for the heads up

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Slashgear managed to get their hands on a letter from Nokia to their developers (under Launchpad) that states Nokia is willing to give two handsets away for free, in an attempt to keep their community happy with the monumental change that is coming their way. The letter is quite to the point about the matter:

We are also excited to offer you one free admission to the next Nokia World/Nokia Developer Summit later this year. We will take care of the registration costs.

To assist you with your development activities in the near-term, we will ship one free Nokia E7 device to all program members. Additionally, we will send to you one free Nokia WP7 device, as soon as it becomes available.

To accelerate your mobile app development, we will provide free tech support on all Nokia technologies for the next three months (up to 10 tickets). Equally, if you would like to take advantage of a free User Experience evaluation of one of your apps, please let us know and we will work with you to make those arrangements.

Couple of things here to note: Although Qt/Symbian may seem "dead", Nokia is still planning on shipping 225 million handsets this year under their old system, according to Rich Greene, Nokia's CTO--who discussed the transition on Wednesday in Barcelona. Shipping nearly a quarter-billion phones is still a lot of market for developers, meaning they should not quit. Further, The Nokia World/Nokia Developer conference is held traditionally in the fall--for 2010 it was held in mid September, giving us a time-frame when we should begin to see prototype and developer handsets.

This all sounds about right to us: developer devices in the fall, big launch in early 2012, work on your dev community in the meantime.  Nokia currently ships one million phones a day (once again, according to Rich Greene), meaning in the next year, Microsoft is going to get a huge punch in the arm in terms of mass production and availability when they tap into that system.

This partnership sounds better and better to us everyday.

Source: Slashgear; via ZDNet

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