updated 09:50 am EDT, Fri August 12, 2011
Nokia makes large WP7 phone order from Compal
Taiwan-area media claimed Friday that Nokia would start taking its first Windows Phone 7 devices in September. Local contractor and regular Nokia supplier Compal would be shipping a full two million of the smartphones for the fall. Local investment firm worker and former tech journalist Dan Nystedt, in getting the information, didn't narrow down an exact ship date.
Only one phone has been identified as coming so far and is likely to be a finished version of the Sea Ray prototype. If so, it's likely to be a slight variant on the N9 with the same 3.9-inch AMOLED screen and a Snapdragon processor, just with hardware Windows Phone navigation buttons. Similarity would give it an eight-megapixel camera and 16GB or more of storage; the N9 has up to 64GB.
Two million units would be very modest for Nokia, although the company has readily admitted that truly large-scale production would only start in early 2012. Its transition away from Symbian is due to run as late as 2013 and won't see it drop the platform entirely once WP7 is on the market.
The tally, while small, could still be vital for Microsoft. Gartner understands that Microsoft's combined partners sold just 1.7 million Windows Phone devices in spring and would more than double its share if Nokia saw strong early demand. Although Nokia has officially signed on because it wanted a modern smartphone platform, Microsoft's eagerness to buy market share may have played a role by giving Nokia billions in direct payments and marketing help. [via Unwired View]