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(s 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(s nok) 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(s aapl) 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(s msft) 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.