The launch will be at Nokia World in Abu Dhabi on 22 October. A range of new phones, from the low end to the high end, will be announced, as well as a Windows tablet, codenamed ‘Sirius’ but likely to be called the Lumia 2520.
The planned announcement has been reported by a number of leading media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswire, all quoting the usual unnamed inside sources. It is also all over the blogosphere. Nokia itself has confirmed there will be an announcement at the event, but has said nothing about specifics and is declining to comment on the reports.
The Sirius tablet will have a 10.1 inch screen and be powered by a 2.15GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, according to usually reliable sources. But it will run the discredited RT version of Windows 8, which has led many analysts to believe it will be stillborn.
Also to be announced will be a high end Lumia 929 phone with a 20 Megapixel camera, and a Lumia 1520 phablet with a 6 inch screen (codenamed ‘Bandit’). The devices will still be under the Nokia name – the deal with Microsoft has not yet been completed. But they will be Lumia branded devices, which means they will end up as part of the Microsoft stable.
The devices will be the last hurrah at Nokia for CEO Stephen Elop, who will join Microsoft as head of the newly expanded smartphone division, and may even replace Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO (he was at Microsoft before he went to Nokia).
He is also saying farewell to his wife Nancy, whom he is divorcing, and who will end up with half his €18.8 million golden handshake, no doubt needed to raise their triplets (they also have two other children). Nokia asked him to consider a smaller payout, but he refused, saying half the money wasn’t his to turn down.
The new devices will give Nokia a new and full product range before the Microsoft takeover. The phones are likely to continue the slow rise back up the market share ladder for Windows Phone, but it is hard to see the tablet being a success. That market has already rejected Windows RT.
Endgadget reports the tablet will run on 4G networks, and has already been approved by the US FCC. That will set it apart from the underpowered Microsoft machine, but neither the improved communications nor the reported excellent build quality are likely to be enough to make it substantially more successful than Microsoft’s own RT dog.