Nokia Windows Phone 8 Smartphones Launching Now. 2 on ATandT: Report

AT&T will begin selling Nokia's Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 smartphones Nov. 2, according The Verge. Other sources say Microsoft will throw its own party for the OS Oct. 25.

Nokia's new Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 smartphones, introduced in New York City Sept. 5 without pricing or carrier information, have a penciled release date of Nov. 2, The Verge reported Sept. 7, the same date that TechRadar suggested two days earlier.

The Verge cites "multiple sources familiar with Nokia's plans" and says the company is working feverishly with Microsoft and AT&T to complete a number of necessary tests to be able to sign off on the devices in time to make the Nov. 2 date. Microsoft's release to manufacturing date-the day when it makes the OS available to its hardware partners-is next week, the report added.

Even if Nokia makes its deadline, the phones will initially be available in limited numbers, Nokia has said-a point that has analysts further concerned for the brand's prospects.

Analysts with Canaccord Genuity told investors in a Sept. 5 research note that, with the phones not launching until late in the fourth quarter, and with launches "potentially more limited than consensus expectations, "we are lowering our Lumia smartphone estimates."

Lead note author T. Michael Walkley added that, "while we are impressed with many of the new features, we believe the Microsoft ecosystem still faces an uphill battle to win customers and create a viable long-term third mobile ecosystem after Android and Apple's iOS."

Ahead of Nokia and AT&T's plans, Microsoft is planning its own launch party for the mobile OS Oct. 25 in New York, according to ZDnet's Mary Jo Foley. An indiscreet source shared the date of the party with Foley, as well as added that the OS will "officially 'launch'" Oct. 29 on the West Coast.

While Nokia is Microsoft's primary partner, a number of other handset makers also have designs for the OS. At the IFA 2012 trade show in Berlin last month, Samsung introduced the Ativ S, a Windows Phone 8-running smartphone that complements a new line of Ativ devices (in the United States, Samsung will drop the Ativ brand name).

The Ativ S features a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of onboard RAM, a 1.9-megapixel camera up front, an 8-megapixel on the back, a 2300mAh battery, a microSD card slot and the option of 16 or 32GB models.

The Windows Phone blog calls it "impossibly thin." From the front, judging by photos posted by the blog, the Ativ S looks a bit like the Apple iPhone 3G.

HTC, an early Android backer, is said to also be planning to get behind Windows Phone 8. Jason Mackenzie, HTC's president of sales and marketing, has said, "Our plan is to go big on Windows 8," Reuters reported Sept. 6.

While Android currently dominates the global market, with a 66.6 percent market share during the second quarter, according to an Aug. 5 report from Canaccord, the firm believes Windows Phone has the potential to be a viable third ecosystem and to finish out 2013 with 10 percent of the smartphone market. By Canaccord's figures, Microsoft now controls a 5.9 percent share.

"In fact," wrote Walkley, "we believe the Windows 8 launch for PCs and tablets combined with the Apollo OS launch for smartphones in Q4/12 should result in Windows emerging as a more compelling option for consumers."