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Summary:

Although Nokia did not detail release dates when it unveiled new Windows Phones this week, reports suggest a November timeframe. Coming after the expected next iPhone, that makes Nokia’s sales challenge that much tougher, regardless of how nice the new Lumias look.

Nokia Lumia 920, Windows Phone 8
photo: GigaOM

Nokia introduced two new Lumia smartphones running Windows Phone 8 this week, leaving many wanting more details – specifically: When will the attractive handsets go on sale?

Two independent reports suggest November is the month consumers will be able to purchase the phones. That’s credible because Microsoft is expected to share all Windows Phone 8 details by the end of October.

Reuters reported on Friday that at least one European carrier will start selling new Lumia devices in the second half of November, with the telecom source saying larger countries will get the phone earlier in the month. This conincides with a report at The Verge suggesting that AT&T is currently testing the Lumia 920 and will offer it as early as November 2.

While many were disappointed in the lack of pricing and availability details from Nokia on the new Lumias, here in the U.S., it is carriers who typically announce that information…

Unless, that is, the phone in question is an iPhone. Apple still controls much of its product line details. And Apple is expected to launch its new iPhone on September 12, so it will likely be on sale for at four to six weeks before Lumias hit the retail shelves.

This timing underscores the challenge that Nokia has continued to face throughout its transition to Windows Phone, which is now effectively over. Windows Phone devices in general and Nokia’s smartphone line itself continue to play “catch-up” in many people’s minds: Nokia’s new Lumia phones, with innovative hardware and software features, would surely fare better if availability was prior to Apple’s next handset.

Does this mean Nokia’s new Lumia line is doomed? Not at all; the devices look to have Nokia’s outstanding design and build quality combined with the improvements in Windows Phones appear to be a solid alternative to iPhones or Android devices. But Nokia doesn’t need additional challenges to face. And the situation speaks volumes to the nimble nature of Nokia’s and Microsoft’s competitors in the mobile market.

  1. Agree. They need to get them launched before the new iPhone in my opinion even if it means working night and day!

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  2. I’m astounded how anything Microsoft related in the last year has been announced without the details that consumers often care most about: price and date.

    Honestly though, if Microsoft can’t even ship the developer SDK for Windows Phone 8, I suspect the issue is not with Nokia.

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    1. Microsoft is really late to the tablet party and also late bringing out Windows Phone 8, so I’m sure they are in what I would almost call a panicky catch-up mode (or maybe it *is* a panicky catch-up mode). The result is announcements without price and date details; and I also expect hardware and software products released with lots of glitches and missing (or weird) features. This is what happens when you decide to jump into a market long after you should have, and your competition is moving ahead at NASCAR speeds.

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