Nokia is set to unveil its first Windows Phones by the end of the year, although its unclear whether or not they would hit retailers before the holiday season. CEO Stephen Elop said as much at a technology gathering yesterday in Helsinki, Finland, according to Reuters.
Some suspect the first phones could come just in time for the Nokia World trade show which takes place October 26-27 in London. An introduction at the show would provide an adequate launch platform but would leave little time for Nokia to actually get the phones in stores and available to potential buyers in time for the holidays. The company has traditionally taken as long as half a year after unveiling to make phones available, although they have since said those plans would be changed.
Despite Android and iOS dominating the mobile market, Elop believes there is still room for Windows smartphones. He also touched on how Apple’s iPhone revolutionized the entire industry in 2007.
"You could argue that one of the most fundamental disruptions that the industry faced happened around 2007 ... when the iPhone was introduced," Elop said. "The iPhone did something disruptive. It introduced a new level of experience."
In a “bet the company” move earlier this year, Nokia signed a deal with Microsoft to switch to Windows Phone as their primary smartphone platform. Nokia’s Symbian operating system has since been assigned to franchise platform status, leveraging previous investments to harvest additional value.
Last week Microsoft accidentally let the names of the first Nokia Windows Phones slip during a Canadian competition. Based on the leak, we expect to see the Nokia Sabre and the Nokia Searay (or Sea Ray) debut sometime in the near future.