With Mobile World Congress (MWC) almost upon us, the mobile industry will soon shine its spotlight on Barcelona, where manufacturers and carriers will convene to showcase the newest and most exciting devices that will go on sale in the months ahead. Among the many participants and attendees at the show will be Nokia, and it sounds like the company is preparing a major announcement there.
The company has issued a media release ahead of its first MWC event, a press conference hosted by Nokia’s president and chief executive, Stephen Elop. On Monday morning, the release promises that Nokia “will announce significant industry news”. But what might that be?
As we reported recently, we believe that Nokia will announce two additions to its Lumia Windows Phone range: a ‘world’ version of its Lumia 900 flagship (which for now remains an AT&T exclusive); and a new entry-level device, possibly called the Lumia 610. This latter handset will bring Windows Phone to new low price points, and is expected to be running a new version of the operating system, codenamed ‘Tango’, which is optimised for lower-end devices and is believed to be stripped of some Windows Phone features, such as SkyDrive photo-synchronisation and disabled third-party Live Tile support.
Additionally, there have been extensive rumours about a new Symbian/Belle device, a successor to the venerable Nokia N8 with a class-leading camera, possibly called the 808 PureView. The Symbian^3-powered N8 won enormous praise for the extraordinary quality of its 12MP camera, which is still widely regarded as among the best to be found on any smartphone, and many Nokia fans have long hoped for a follow-up device with a similarly impressive cam.
Nokia has itself been teasing PureView-related promotional material over the last few days, so it seems logical to assume that there’ll be a related announcement at MWC – but one big question mark remains over whether or not that amazing camera will be on the back of a Symbian handset or on a Windows Phone.
But do any of these murmurs and mutterings from the rumour mill really constitute “significant industry news”? Or could Nokia announce something entirely different?
Are we about to see a lot less grey on the Nokia Lumia Momentum Map?
One possibility is that Nokia may announce a big push into new markets with its new entry-level Lumia 610. It’s widely believed that the new Tango update could bring over a hundred new languages to Windows Phone – an affordable price point and dozens of new markets for Windows Phone could represent a significant turning point in Nokia’s fortunes, giving it the opportunity to sell its Lumia handsets in much greater numbers.
Not long ‘til we find out though – the press conference starts on Monday 27 February at:
0830 CET (Barcelona)
0730 GMT (London)
0230 EST (New York)
1300 IST (New Delhi)
1830 EDT (Sydney)
2330 PST on Sunday 26 February (Los Angeles)