Jo Harlow, executive vice president of smart devices for Nokia, today announced that the first Windows Phone based Nokia device will be arriving this year, and yes it will be reminiscent of those concepts we saw in some leaked slides last week, as seen below.
Talking at the company's press conference here in Barcelona, where from tomorrow the Mobile World Congress mobile trade show will be taking place, she explained that while there is no set date for the release, the company is committed to getting a device in our shops in double quick time.
Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, also reiterated that Nokia will not just be slapping a generic installation of Windows Phone 7 on a new handset but will work with Microsoft to include Ovi store apps and Ovi Maps, while Microsoft will bring Bing, Xbox and the platform's advertising opportunities to Nokia. Indeed, Mr Elop was particularly excited about the idea of delivering advertising on the companies future devices, through the same ecosystem that lead Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, to announce that Windows Phone 7 will be an ad-serving machine a few months ago - an exciting preposition for Nokia, no doubt, but certainly not the kind of sound bite to get consumers excited.
He also stated that the primary reason for Nokia teaming up with Microsoft rather than Android is that, if the latter two combined, their respective market share would create a duopoly in the mobile phone market. In contrast, joining Microsoft would result in “a three horse race” with Windows Phone, Android, and Apple being the big hitters. Mr Elop was keen to infer this decision was taken as it would simply be good for the market, but undoubtedly a strong motivating factor would have been the potential hassle that would go along with a duopoly, due to competition rules.
When it comes to Symbian, the company reiterated its commitment to the platform to take advantage of the 250,000,000 installed devices that will be in the marketplace. This commitment will include new devices arriving over the next year as well as significant UI and graphics improvements that will be arriving as free updates to existing devices over the coming months.
So, no new handsets for us to show you yet but some encouraging signs that this partnership will at least bear fruit sooner rather than later. Does that proposition excite you or are you still just as flabbergasted by the decision as when it was announced last week? Let us know in the comments.