It appears that the first Nokia phones to run Windows Phone are currently on track to debut later this year, in fact, some Nokia phones are already running Windows Phone 7.5 (codename “Mango”, yes, it does appear it is actually 7.5 not 7.1).
Recently Jo Harlow, head of Smart Devices at Nokia, was interviewed by Elizabeth Woyke of Forbes, who found out some interesting details on Nokia’s plans for Windows Phone.
Harlow has very high optimism of the Nokia and Microsoft alliance, but believes the future remains a huge opportunity. Woyke says the reason for her optimism is due to her being ahead of schedule, along with “several Nokia devices were already running Mango, the latest version of Windows Phone software.”
While Nokia has yet to confirm a date, or even confirm that a device running Windows Phone will be available later this year, “Our target is absolutely still this year…and the target looks good,” said Harlow. Woyke also says that her target is not just a single phone, but a “small portfolio” of devices. It is highly likely that these first phones will be much like current Symbian phones, simply more powerful, however.
“One of the differentiations we intend to bring to the Windows Phone platform is
hardware innovation… You will see that in our first devices and our future devices,” said Harlow. Woyke brought up dual-core processors, which Harlow did not deny, but mentioned that such types or processors would need to be integrated carefully, otherwise battery life could suffer. However Harlow also said such processor upgrades would be the “kind of investment” Nokia would use to differentiate their devices.
It also appears NFC could be brought to their devices as well, not just Windows Phones but also their Symbian devices. With NFC, mobile phones can exchange information to pay for items in stores and other miscellaneous tasks. Nokia could even make a China-specific device, along with CDMA compatible devices too. Currently most Nokia devices use GSM, according to Woyke.
Oh, and by the way, the renderings of phones made by Nokia (such as the one pictured above) earlier this year were described as “not characteristic” of the first Windows Phone, according to Harlow.