According to recent reports, Microsoft has confirmed that Nokia would be launching its first Windows Phone device next week, tying in with expectations of the first Nokia Windows Phone being introduced to the world at the Nokia World event beginning on the 26th of October. Also expected on a similar timescale is the retail availability of the first Windows Phone 7.5 Mango devices from Samsung.
Andy Lees, the head of Microsoft’s Windows Phone division, spoke about how Nokia would help Microsoft and Windows Phone 7 get a foot in the smartphone market, at the All Things Digital AsiaD conference in Hong Kong:
“We are very excited about them being in the market. They have a lot of resources throughout the world and they will be a major accelerant to us.”
Lees added that Microsoft’s road map for Windows Phone was what convinced Nokia to place almost all its eggs in the one basket, and that Google was “very nervous” about the collaboration between the software and hardware giants:
“We’ve been working hard on building an architecture that allows us to leapfrog our competitors by using the best components available.”
Microsoft is looking at the United States, Europe and China (the world’s biggest mobile phone market) as its top markets for the new WP7.5 (Mango) devices, but also has high hopes for emerging markets, especially in the face of low-cost handsets:
“As the price comes down, emerging markets do become a huge opportunity, but also the existing markets in western Europe and the U.S., because as the price point comes down, more people will get into the smartphone market.”
China so far hasn’t officially received its first Windows Phone devices, and Microsoft says it will launch in that highly competitive market by early next year.
So far, Windows Phone Mango has already hit the Indian market in the form of the HTC Radar. Other Mango devices to have been launched globally include the Fujitsu IS12T in Japan.