With the largely positive media reaction to its new Windows Phones, and the imminent launch of its flagship Lumia 900 in the United States, Nokia has undoubtedly been drawing most of the attention lavished upon the Windows Phone ecosystem in recent months. But Microsoft’s other mobile partners – including ZTE and Asus – are still very much in the game, and a new report from China’s WPDang.com indicates that Samsung is also preparing to renew its efforts with the Windows Phone platform.
The site claims that Samsung will bring three new Windows Phone handsets to market this year, starting with a device codenamed ‘Mandel’ (also known by its model name, SGH-i667). Not much is known about this handset yet; we do know that it will feature 4G LTE connectivity, along with a WVGA (800x480px) display, and will run Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh (formerly known as the ‘Tango’ update).
There’s no official word yet on which markets the device will be released in, but Slashgear claims that it will land on AT&T, while WPDang claims it will arrive in the second half of the year (most likely Q3, ahead of the Q4 launch of Windows Phone 8).
Details on the other two handsets are even more sparse, beyond the claim that both will run Windows Phone 8 at launch, although that in itself isn’t exactly news. We reported back in February that Samsung’s head of product management, Matt Brum, had reconfirmed the company’s commitment to the Windows Phone ecosystem, stating that Windows Phone 8 (also known as ‘Apollo’) “is coming at the end of the year and will increase the capability of the platform, and Samsung is looking to optimise its devices on that.”
While we still have a bit longer to wait before we know what exactly what Samsung has in store for its Apollo devices, today's report claims that the company will deliver at least two Windows Phone 8 devices before the end of 2012.