updated 10:45 pm EST, Thu January 5, 2012
Lumia 900 may be last Nokia WP7.5 phone
Nokia's Lumia 900, possibly called the Ace on AT&T, should be followed up by the first phones based on the Tango update in the spring, if a rumor late Thursday is accurate. Taiwanese contract manufacturers reportedly told Digitimes that they would be making Nokia's "entry-level" smartphones, which need Tango to work, in the second quarter. The Lumia 900's production was being brought into Nokia itself for unknown reasons, even after the Lumia 800 and 710 had been made by Compal.
Although possibly based on speculation, the tip echoed beliefs that the Lumia 900 would be unveiled at CES next week as the Ace for AT&T.
The timing would suggest that Nokia will reveal its Tango-based Windows Phones at Mobile World Congress in late February and could ship them several weeks later. None of their details have emerged in earnest, but Tango is known to be focused on lowering the cost and could see lower-resolution screens and slower processors. Windows Phone has been known to run briskly even on the very first models and could have significant room for cheaper models.
Nokia is widely thought to have asked for Tango as a condition of its deal. Outside of the threat to its higher-end smartphones from the West, most of its decline in phone share has come from cheap Android devices in southeast Asia, where companies like ZTE can make a smartphone as cheaply as a basic cellphone. Finland-based Nokia still has much more of a reputation in China and may recover with less effort than it needs in the Apple- and Google-friendly US.