Nokia Windows Phones Set to Debut Next Week: Lees

Nokia's first Windows Phone devices are set to debut at the upcoming Nokia World conference, according to Windows Phone division president Andy Lees.

Nokia plans to show off its first Windows Phone devices at Nokia World in London, which starts Oct. 26.

That information came from Andy Lees, president of Microsoft's Windows Phone division, who told the audience during the Asia D conference Oct. 19: "Next week it's going to be Nokia World, where they're going to announce their phones and how they're going to make the most out of the Windows Phone opportunity."

He added: "They bet the whole company on the success of their devices running Windows Phone." In keeping with his position, he also expressed confidence that the alliance would "turn around [Nokia's] fortunes."

Nokia reported another dip in revenue and profit for the third quarter of 2011, with net sales totaling $12.3 billion, a year-over-year decline of 13 percent, and operating losses of $98.4 million. The company made the controversial decision to abandon its homegrown operating systems, including Symbian, in favor of Windows Phone-the better, at least in CEO Stephen Elop's thinking, to compete within a market increasingly dominated by the likes of Google Android and the Apple iPhone.

Over the summer, Elop (a former Microsoft executive) flashed a prototype smartphone running Windows Phone during a press conference. A number of people in the audience snapped spy photos and video of the device, which looked like a Nokia N9 smartphone modified for Microsoft's smartphone platform. In subsequent months, news and images leaked of similar devices, including two code-named Sea Ray and Sabre.

Those Windows Phone prototypes resembled Nokia's N9, a MeeGo-loaded smartphone with a 3.9-inch active-matrix organic LED (AMOLED) screen and body engineered from a single piece of polycarbonate.

While Windows Phone debuted a year ago on high-end smartphone hardware, Microsoft is apparently intent on lowering the consumer cost of the platform. "We are dramatically broadening the set of price points in Mango-related phones that we can reach," Lees told the attendees. "That's particularly important because going lower down in price point opens up more addressable market."

The other facet of Microsoft's win-the-market strategy involves its recent Windows Phone Mango update, with some 500 new tweaks and features. Microsoft hopes the new software, in conjunction with manufacturers such as Nokia and Samsung producing new devices, will finally gain it some traction in the market against the likes of Google Android and Apple's iPhone.

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