updated 10:45 am EDT, Thu April 14, 2011
Nokia Windows Phone 7 plans may start with W7, W8
Frequent leaker of Nokia phones Eldar Murtazin detailed early on Thursday what he had heard so far for its first Windows Phone devices. The W8 as the flagship would be a direct adaptation of the N8, but it would be a much faster and more capable design. It would switch to a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor far enough advanced that it would be using future Adreno 320 video.
Its launch may be the least certain as it would hinge on Qualcomm's own plans.
The W7 would be the first to ship and take a design cue from the HTC Mozart. The design would use the X7 as the baseline but would upgrade to a 480x800 screen and the original 1GHz Snapdragon for the processor, along with packing an eight-megapixel camera. Engineers are purportedly treating it as a testbed where relatively little hardware work is necessary.
Two more phones are also reportedly due, including a cheap phone related to the W7 but in a cheaper and "very affordable" body that cuts back on features like the camera. A QWERTY and touchscreen hybrid is also reportedly coming.
The W7 will arrive first and may even arrive in the fall rather than the early 2012 deadline Nokia has officially set for itself. The unnamed basic touchscreen phone might also come quickly. The W8's launch is indeterminate beyond late winter or early spring, but the QWERTY phone is expected around March or April of next year for a tentative 350 euros ($505).
Business users may get a special subscription service along with the QWERTY phone. Little else is known of its goals other than that it would be a selling point for Nokia's business phones. Speculation is that it would be a cloud service that might tie into mail or something similar.
Symbian will still be alive for the short term but may face a fall-off next year. Anna, also known as the PR 2.0 release, should reach devices in July or August. A minor update would come late this year followed by a mid-2012 launch for PR 3.0. Symbian phones should be pitched as the budget models and will now often cost less than their Windows Phone equivalents when they arrive.
Some of the details are likely to change. It's believed in many circles that Nokia is eager to get its first WP7 phones on the market quickly, even if it means unoriginal designs, to prevent too much of a steep drop in smartphone share as customers wait for Microsoft-based models.
X7 (W7 template)
N8 (W8 template)