Nokia is set to debut its initial lineup of Windows Phone 8 devices at the company’s Nokia World event in early September, according to a Bloomberg report. Nokia World takes place September 5 and 6, putting the company’s Windows Phone 8 reveal a week ahead of the rumored September 12 iPhone announcement date.
Unveiling its latest Windows Phone 8 phones at Nokia World would give Nokia some time to show off its lineup before Apple steals the spotlight. The move makes sense, since Nokia needs as much positive attention as it can get. With disappointing earnings results and less than impressive sales of its current Windows Phone-powered Lumia handsets — the company sold just 600,000 Lumia devices in North America last quarter — the once-dominant Finnish mobile company is struggling. The fact that current Windows Phone handsets, including Nokia’s latest Lumia 900, won’t be able to upgrade to the latest platform certainly didn’t help.
But a Windows Phone 8 announcement at Nokia World doesn’t mean that the handsets will be available right away, or even very soon after. Windows Phone 8 isn’t expected to launch until November, so it’s more likely that Nokia will merely show off its devices — as it did at last year’s Nokia World event — then wait a month or two before shipping anything.
There’s no denying that Windows Phone itself still needs a boost. The platform currently makes up only 3.2 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, a meager share compared to the dominant Android devices and iPhones. Microsoft is expecting Windows Phone 8 to speed up Windows Phone growth, and Nokia would certainly ride along with that success. But both companies face several hurdles.
To face those challenges, Microsoft and Nokia aim to work with carriers and retailers to push Windows Phones. And Microsoft has openly said that it needs to work on its own marketing campaigns to make the mobile platform more visible. At a keynote talk during Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2012, VP of Windows Phone marketing Thom Grhuler said, “Smartphone users today don’t know about Windows Phone, and that’s a problem we’re going to fix with Windows Phone 8.”