Nokia is reportedly readying a new smartphone based on Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 8, re-emphasizing its commitment to the software giant's mobile OS.
According to a report Wednesday from Reuters, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has vowed to launch a new smartphone running Microsoft's latest mobile software, Windows Phone 8, in the "relatively near term." Elop did not disclose an exact launch date for the new device, but Nokia investors are speculating that the smartphone will be unveiled during Nokia World, an event hosted by the Finnish handset maker on Sept. 5-6 in Helsinki.
An early September debut would place the launch of Nokia's new smartphone just days ahead of Apple's fifth-generation iPhone, which is expected to debut Sept. 12.
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Nokia's line of Lumia smartphones based on Windows Phone 7.5 has struggled to gain a foothold in the mobile market, facing especially steep competition in the U.S. from industry leaders Apple and Google. Nokia said in July it sold 4 million Lumia devices during its second fiscal quarter, a figure that pales in comparison to the 26 million iPhones Apple sold during the same three-month period.
But, despite Lumia demand being weak out of the gate, Nokia is sticking with Microsoft's mobile OS.
"In today's war ... (between) Android, Apple and Windows, we are very clear, we are fighting that with the Windows phone," Elop told Reuters.
Nokia shares, which have plummeted over the past few months, jumped nearly 5.6 percent after Elop's comments.
Nokia's upcoming Windows Phone 8 device will likely roll out with native hardware support for multicore processors and higher screen resolutions, two requirements Microsoft said are needed of smartphones running the new OS. Nokia's existing Lumia series is not upgradeable to Windows Phone 8 but instead will transition to Windows Phone 7.8, a watered-down version of the new release, Nokia said.
PUBLISHED AUG. 15, 2012