The launch of Windows Phone 8 is getting closer, and now there’s a specific announcement date on the calendar. Nokia and Microsoft have invited the press to a joint Sept. 5 event in New York City, where they are expected to discuss Windows Phone 8.
The New York event date coincides with Nokia World, the Finnish company’s invitation-only technology show in Helsinki. Though the New York press invitation says little about what the two companies plan to discuss, it does feature both the Nokia Lumia logo and the Windows Phone logo. Reports already state that Nokia will reveal its next-generation Windows Phones at Nokia World, so it makes sense that the company would hold a stateside reveal as well.
The invitation for the New York press event lines up with another scrap of tantalizing Nokia info: CEO Stephen Elop on Wednesday did not deny a September launch and told reporters that the public could expect to see Windows Phone 8 devices in the “relatively near term.” Call us crazy, but we’d say Sept. 5 fits the “near term” definition quite well.
Nokia’s future heavily depends on Windows Phone’s success. The company has faced huge losses in the past several quarters, in part tied to unimpressive Lumia smartphone sales. With the launch of Windows Phone 8, Nokia could finally see a a significant upswing in its mobile handset business. While Nokia might need a contingency plan, it’s clear that Elop is committed to the Windows Phone platform.
“I don’t think about rewinding the clock and thinking about competing elsewhere,” Elop told reporters in Oslo, where he was meeting with Telenor CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas. “In today’s war … (between) Android, Apple and Windows, we are very clear, we are fighting that with the Windows Phone.”
So what could a new Nokia Windows Phone look like?
An image of a purported Nokia Windows Phone 8 device’s front panel has surfaced online, suggesting that at least one device could feature a 4.3-inch screen. The image first appeared on CNBeta, according to WPCentral. The panel shows a Home button with the new Windows Phone 8 logo, as well as the familiar Windows Phone capacitive buttons along the bottom bezel. If this is a legitimate front panel, that means at least one of the Nokia’s devices will not feature the polycarbonate unibody of the Lumia 900 and Lumia 800. It might be a more mid-range device, like the Lumia 710.
Beyond that, there are basically no details about Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 plans. It’s likely that the company will launch with at least one high-end, flagship device similar to the Lumia 900, and probably a couple other more mid- and low-range smartphones.