Following Microsoft’s Mango announcement that Nokia’s first Windows Phone 7 handset will ship pre-loaded with the software update, Nokia is saying that it is optimistic that it can ready multiple Windows Phone 7 devices by the end of the year with Mango pre-installed.
While Nokia’s Jo Harlow, who is in charge of the company’s smart devices, refuses to give an exact date or acknowledge that the company will in fact launch a Windows Phone device in 2011, Harlow says that the deadline set by company CEO Stephen Elop will be met. Since Nokia had announced in February that it will be making the transition from Symbian to Windows Phone 7 as its mobile operating system of choice, Elop has stated that the company wants to ready a device by the end of the year.
According to Harlow, who has given an interview with Forbes, it won’t be just one device, but multiple devices that will occupy a smart portfolio.
Early speculations suggest that Nokia’s early batches of Windows Phone 7 devices may closely resemble its current Symbian flagships. For instance, the photo-centric Nokia N8 will be re-badged as the Nokia W8 and the Nokia X7, a multimedia and gaming phone, would be re-done as the Nokia W7.
Aside from the hardware changes, there will also be some internal changes to those handsets as well. As Qualcomm is the exclusive chip partner for Windows Phone, Nokia will need to rely on Qualcomm to deliver performance, and the company is exploring dual-core solutions for its smartphones in an effort to boost performance while at the same time preserve battery life, an area that Nokia’s Symbian handsets have been legendary for.
The company is also exploring NFC for Windows Phone and Symbian, and it will be researching a Windows Phone opportunity for the China market, which can potentially delay the release of a Nokia Windows Phone 7 device for the CDMA market, largely used by Verizon Wireless and Sprint. While Nokia is optimistic about Windows Phone 7 devices, the company remains cautious about a tablet entry.