Details revealed of Microsoft's Windows Phone handset plans

Now that Microsoft has taken control of Nokia, many are wondering what the company has in store for its future Windows Phones. Some have suggested that the company may consolidate its offering, given that the Lumia range is so expansive, from the entry-level 520 all the way up to the 6-inch 1320 and 1520. 

Today, the ever-reliable leakster @evleaks revealed some details of Microsoft's handset plans, from the near future through into next year. The first piece of info concerns the Lumia 930, which is expected to launch in numerous markets later this month. While the device originally launched in the United States, albeit as the Nokia Lumia Icon, this handset is slated to remain exclusive to Verizon, and it appears unlikely that that will change for the foreseeable future with no apparent plans to offer the 930 in the US. 


The Lumia Icon (929) looks set to remain a Verizon exclusive, with no plans to bring the 930 to the US

The Lumia 635 - the 4G-enabled twin of the budget-friendly, but 3G-only, Lumia 630 - will, however, be more widely available across the US. AT&T, Cricket and T-Mobile are all expected to launch that handset within the next few weeks (perhaps as late as the beginning of July). Sprint will also get the 635, although it may not arrive quite as soon as on the other three carriers.

As previously reported, T-Mobile will also get a new ultra-affordable Windows Phone, the Lumia 530, in mid-summer, while Cricket will get the device a little later in early Q4. The 530, known also by its development codename, 'Rock', is believed to be the last handset to launch with the current version of Windows Phone 8.1. 


The Lumia 630/635 (above) will be joined by a new, even more affordable Windows Phone, the Lumia 530

Beyond that, new devices will launch with the next version of the OS, known internally as 'Windows Phone Blue GDR1'; Blue was the development codename for the 8.1 wave of Windows releases, and GDR1 (General Distribution Release 1) is the same internal nomenclature used to describe previous updates to the OS. 

The first devices to be sold with GDR1 on board will come "early in the third quarter", which hints at a release in July or August. Two mid-range devices are slated for release: 'Tesla' will head to AT&T, and 'Superman' will be destined for Verizon. A new flagship will be lined up for the 2014 holiday season, codename 'McLaren', and AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are all expected to add this to their product ranges. 

Two further codenames have been revealed, although beyond their expected release date of early spring 2015, nothing else is known about them at this stage; these devices are referred to as 'Dempsey' and 'Makepeace'. Some of our not-so-young readers may remember that 'Dempsey and Makepeace' was a 1980s cop show in the United Kingdom. 

Further into the future, another range-topper is expected, codename 'Talkman', next summer; it will be joined by a new phablet known internally as 'Cityman'. 

It must be stressed that none of this info has been officially confirmed, and much of it - particularly that related to releases next year - is subject to change. Nonetheless, it sounds like there is plenty to get excited about here.

Which of these devices are you looking forward to most? Let us know your thoughts below!

Source: @evleaks | 'Dempsey and Makepeace' image via pariscine.com

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I have a Nexus 4 that I like very much and have no strong reason to change. However, with what I have read of WP 8.1, I would really like to get a high end Windows phone. My problem is that I will not buy anything on a contract, and I must have an unlocked GSM phone preferably with no carrier or manufacturer bloatware because of my international travel. I am on T Mobile now and have no desire to change. Unfortunately, T Mobile's WP offering is very limited --nothing that I want.

It is a shame that Microsoft does not sell unlocked, carrier neutral phones in their store such that Google does in the Play store. I would probably buy a 1020 today if they did. As things stand, it looks like I will have to stay with Android.

I think the Lumia 920 is the most celebrated high-end Lumia that lets me think about the HTC HD2 phone that had all the mobile OSes of the day installed on it and still has seen no equal. Even though I may replace mine this year, it is quite possible that I won't do anything until I see a worthy contender, and the 930 is not it!

acido00 said,
do you think MS will keep the name: "Lumia" for the new phones?

Probably yes, the name is well known and it would make sense keeping it. Of course if the Surface name will become mainstream a change down the road could be possible.

I've had my 920 for 18months, it still feels and acts like a flagship device however wondering when something will come out that blows it away from a hardware standpoint.

Right now I have no compelling reason to upgrade.

Great, so I'm screwed for a new flagship phone on AT&T until xmas?! Wow, I may switch to Verizon since I'm out of contract!

Also the article leaves out if there will be any re-branding from Nokia or Lumia or if the hardware buttons are for sure gone across all model that ship with 8.1 as mentioned by MS last year.

92GTA said,
Great, so I'm screwed for a new flagship phone on AT&T until xmas?! Wow, I may switch to Verizon since I'm out of contract!

Also the article leaves out if there will be any re-branding from Nokia or Lumia or if the hardware buttons are for sure gone across all model that ship with 8.1 as mentioned by MS last year.

There's no hardware details so we don't know what's what but I think it's a safe bet that the Lumia brand is going to be what they stick with. If you look at what is out now, just think about where it says Nokia, and they'll either not say anything or replace that with Lumia on the device and call it a day.

Not sure what there is to get excited about, really. Seems like mostly mid to low end phones, not interesting at all.

My 920 contract is up in early November. On AT&T. They better have a new phone ready for me to buy then. I'm not downgrading to a 630 for crying out loud, nor am I switching to Verizon just to get a 930. This new "flagship phone" better be ready and available, seriously desirable, and on AT&T... or I'm going to be miffed.

pmbAustin said,
My 920 contract is up in early November. On AT&T. They better have a new phone ready for me to buy then. I'm not downgrading to a 630 for crying out loud, nor am I switching to Verizon just to get a 930. This new "flagship phone" better be ready and available, seriously desirable, and on AT&T... or I'm going to be miffed.

If anything I don't think you have to worry about AT&T getting new high-end WP, they've always done so in the past, this is the first time Verizon has jumped ahead with the Icon/930 actually.

I dont understand you Yankees, frankly. What does it mean your contract is up in November? Will ATT push a machine gun to your head and force you to hit your -I assume otherwise perfectly working- 920 with a hammer? Will ATT then force you to spend money again on something that you didnt actually need? Who said that a phone can last for only 24 months, and becomes automatically dead the next morning after 2 years? Cant that phone still serve you for another year or so? Are you guys receive some constant sub-conscious message from television so you are controlled to consume and consume and consume 24/7/365 ? Thats the reason why vendors started to build devices that barely survives the 2-year life: people are trained to continuously starve for something newer, something more, something better. Why would vendors build anything that lasts, and doesnt fall apart in the 25th month?
Consumer society is the biggest pest in humanitys history.

pmbAustin said,
My 920 contract is up in early November. On AT&T. They better have a new phone ready for me to buy then. I'm not downgrading to a 630 for crying out loud, nor am I switching to Verizon just to get a 930. This new "flagship phone" better be ready and available, seriously desirable, and on AT&T... or I'm going to be miffed.


I have a 920, unbranded, and I would like to replace it because is quite beaten down ( my fault, the phone is really sturdy) but I do not see the 930 as a worthy replacement. Personally I do not like the body, I prefer a fully polycarbonate one although I might consider metal one but a mix of them is a no go. Besides such personal preferences the lack of Glance and a SD card are two issues that, again are a no go. If MS would release a 1520, shrunk to 5" I would buy it immediately... while waiting to see what Goldfinger will bring.

soder said,
......

I think he's just saying that he is eligible for a subsidized phone and if one is to his liking he hopes it's a flagship Lumia.

Half of the 'Mericans here who dote on about specs are people who can only afford them because of the north american contract/subsidy model.

I realized a long time ago that you pay 1.5-3x the value of the device by the time your contract is up, so save your nickels, buy outright and go pre-paid.


Agree with consumer society comment.

"The contract being up" simply means that I'm eligible for a new subsidized phone. I can go on using the 920 as long as I want, but I WANT to trade up, I just don't want to pay $699 or more out of pocket up front to do it. So I do it for $99 and a 2 year contract.

So no, Sodor, your understanding is completely wrong, and there was no need to go off like that, at that length, about something that isn't even remotely true. What a waste of outrage :-/

pmbAustin said,
My 920 contract is up in early November. On AT&T. They better have a new phone ready for me to buy then. I'm not downgrading to a 630 for crying out loud, nor am I switching to Verizon just to get a 930. This new "flagship phone" better be ready and available, seriously desirable, and on AT&T... or I'm going to be miffed.

1020. :)

Dot Matrix said,

1020. :)

Nah, I want the 'next gen' 1020 to be honest, so I'm hoping that "flagship phone" coming in the fall is the 1030. The timing will be perfect if that's the case.

Bertch said,
I was hoping to get an 8.1 phone sooner but if I have to wait until Q3/Q4 so be it.

Well, 8.1 phones are later this month, it says the 930/63x are later in June. But 8.1+GDR1 phones are July-August, so those are even newer, makes things interesting actually if this holds true. It makes a bit more sense, if they're going to speed up 8.1 updates, to release new phones with the GDRs as well. 2 new phones with GDR1 and then another 2 or more with GDR2 to hold things over till WP9 in Spring 2015.

930 likely won't be in Canada and as nice as the 63xs are I holding out for a high-end phone like the 930 or an updated 1020 (1030?)

Microsoft need to make two phones. A mid-range at entry level (or very near) prices and take the hit and a flagship high-end device.

Basically they need a high-end device at the same level as the Galaxy S5. Top spec CPU and GPU, loads of RAM. It is a fact of life that specs mean more than actual performance for a lot of people.

Then they need a phone that competes with the likes of the Moto G. Yes they have the 520/620 and the new models but they need to be better spec. The Moto G is an amazing phone for the money and beats the similar Lumia phones. I should know I switched from a 620 to a Moto G for that very reason.

What Windows Phone users are scrambling for more RAM and a faster CPU? I've never seen my 920 get bogged down or even hiccup.

It isn't because WP gets slow as it does not. It is by far the best performing mobile OS on lower specs however when you have a high-end device it becomes more of a pissing contest than anything else. Releasing a $500+ hand set with 1 or 2GB RAM and a year old CPU isn't going to impress people. You don't buy a flagship device for it to have old specs regardless of if the specs really make much difference. Is that silly? Yes but that is the real world. People see better numbers and think better product. They see 1GB RAM on a WP compared to 3GB on a Galaxy S5 and it automatically registers as "not as good".

MS really needs to start releasing phones that are carrier agnostic. The exclusive crap is not helping adoption at all.

Cyborg_X said,
MS really needs to start releasing phones that are carrier agnostic. The exclusive crap is not helping adoption at all.
They need to sell more unlocked phones that have radios for at least 3 of the 4 main carriers

Cyborg_X said,
MS really needs to start releasing phones that are carrier agnostic. The exclusive crap is not helping adoption at all.

It sounds like the GDR1 phones in Q3/Q4 won't be exclusive, we can't change what happened with the Icon and Verizon already under Nokia, that was already a done deal. But what this says, going forward, is that we can expect quicker releases and to more carriers in the US.

George P said,

It sounds like the GDR1 phones in Q3/Q4 won't be exclusive, we can't change what happened with the Icon and Verizon already under Nokia, that was already a done deal. But what this says, going forward, is that we can expect quicker releases and to more carriers in the US.


What would B nice, and very useful for the platform, is the ability to buy unbranded devices through MS stores in the US as well as people are able to abroad.

Cyborg_X said,
MS really needs to start releasing phones that are carrier agnostic. The exclusive crap is not helping adoption at all.

Its the only way to get them offered by carriers, allegedly. Europe's setup sounds better...

Cosmocronos said,

What would B nice, and very useful for the platform, is the ability to buy unbranded devices through MS stores in the US as well as people are able to abroad.

I agree but if I remember correctly there are ways to buy them unbranded/unlocked in the US but they're often imports so when you get them, like how my 8X was, they could be pre-set in some different language that has to be changed. I know for sure my 8X was imported from Germany at the time, it's unlocked fully but I get the DT (German T-Mobile parent company) splash screen on boot up.

George P said,

I agree but if I remember correctly there are ways to buy them unbranded/unlocked in the US but they're often imports so when you get them, like how my 8X was, they could be pre-set in some different language that has to be changed. I know for sure my 8X was imported from Germany at the time, it's unlocked fully but I get the DT (German T-Mobile parent company) splash screen on boot up.

Grey market FTW!

George P said,

I agree but if I remember correctly there are ways to buy them unbranded/unlocked in the US but they're often imports so when you get them, like how my 8X was, they could be pre-set in some different language that has to be changed. I know for sure my 8X was imported from Germany at the time, it's unlocked fully but I get the DT (German T-Mobile parent company) splash screen on boot up.


Yes, you can buy either unlocked or, much better, unbranded devices from Expansys, Amazon etc. . Unbranded are by far better because, besides the absence, of a customized splash screen you will not have to carriers approval to receive updates; they will be available as soon as the maker of your device push them.

Cyborg_X said,
.....

You do realize that in US / Canada, Carriers have the buying power and dictate the terms right?

iPhone is different because the carriers customers had the wunderlust forcing carriers to play Apple's game.

Cosmocronos said,
.... you will not have to carriers approval to receive updates; they will be available as soon as the maker of your device push them.

Except for that time when Nokia pushed 7.8 to unbranded phones last.

deadonthefloor said,

Except for that time when Nokia pushed 7.8 to unbranded phones last.

Yes, that instance was unfortunate indeed. Said that last is still better than receive a bloody butchered update like AT&T ones with no Data Sense or Verizon without FM radio

Studio384 said,
Nice, very nice. :) Looking forward to see more Lumia devices. :)

It sounds to me like MS is already having on effect on the Lumia line if this holds true. It sounds like a nice, spread out, and quicker release cycle compared to what Nokia would do on it's own.

EvilAstroboy said,
So, the Lumia-930 is the last high end for WP8.1 (if I read correctly) ?

Yes, well, at least from MS, these are just what MS is going to do with the Lumia line, we don't know what 8.1 devices other OEMs are going to do.

*edit* Just to be clear, what I mean, and from what it says, the 930 is the last 8.1 high end device from MS BUT the article says that there will be 8.1 with GDR1 phones later this year, newer OS version, 8.1.1 if you will. There will be another high end with that version I expect.

Edited by George P, Jun 5 2014, 5:34pm :

EvilAstroboy said,
So, the Lumia-930 is the last high end for WP8.1 (if I read correctly) ?

For RTM 8.1 yes, though that doesn't mean much as 8.1 is due to be superseded a few months later with the first update. The 930 will by no means be the last high end Windows Phone. The article does indicate a new flagship will come towards the end of the year, presumably running 8.1 Update 1 (GDR1) or later.