AT&T has been Nokia’s booster in the U.S. market, as the Finnish phone maker has worked to jump-start its ailing brand with smartphones running Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. It’s Verizon Wireless, however, that will sell the Lumia 928, a rumored and highly anticipated new high-end device, Bloomberg reported April 23.
Were Verizon to indeed unveil a plan next month to offer the Lumia 928, it would mark the first time that Verizon—the nation’s largest network—had put its weight behind a top-tier Lumia phone.
Verizon currently, and exclusively, sells the midrange Lumia 822, which it’s now offering free with a new two-year service contract.
According to Bloomberg sources familiar with the plan, the Lumia 928 will feature a metal body, a 4.5-inch touch-screen, an 8-megapixel camera and wireless charging. Boy Genius Report earlier reported that, like the Lumia 920, the 928 will also feature a PureView camera. The technology, which helps to steady video in a shaky hand, made headlines last fall after a botched campaign to market the technology.
Certainly, Nokia needs a homerun. While its newest Lumias have been generally well-reviewed, they’ve been unable to gain traction in a market dominated by Samsung Galaxy devices and the Apple iPhone.
During its fiscal 2013 third quarter, Nokia announced April 18, sales of devices and services fell 25 percent quarter-on-quarter—though Lumia volumes increased 27 percent quarter-on-quarter to 5.6 million units.
Still, it managed to remain profitable for the third consecutive quarter. Elop said in a statement that Nokia was managing its costs and executing its strategy “with urgency.”
Amid widespread rumors of the 928, Nokia has refused to acknowledge that the phone is in production. During a memorable interview on Finnish television in March, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, despite being hounded by the host about the 928, laughed and good naturedly talked around the host’s comments.
“I saw pictures in some newspaper about Lumia 928. … When are you announcing this phone?” asked the host.
Elop continued on, trying to introduce a Lumia 620.
“928, when is it coming out?” the host pressed.
Eventually, the host pulled an iPhone from his pocket, saying he didn’t want to have to use an Apple device.
“I want to have a Nokia phone because I believe in you and I believe in Nokia, but I want to have that Nokia 928. When do I get it?”
Elop, after tossing the host’s iPhone to the floor and laughing that he’d taken care of the problem, finally acknowledged, “I can’t answer those questions for you.”
Soon enough, though, it seems he will.
Whether about the 928 or something else, Nokia plans to “announce something new” the morning of April 24, it said in an April 22 blog post on its Conversations blog.
Following the announcement, it’ll host a question-and-answer session with Neil Broadley from Nokia’s Mobile Phones team, as well as a “special guest.” Is Nokia getting an Alicia Keys–like creative director? Let the guessing begin. Or rather, continue.