Windows Phone - 29 December 2011
Author: David K

imageThere’s a lot of noise today about upcoming LTE Windows Phones and Paul Thurrott is now sharing some new information.

And as you might expect, Microsoft and its Windows Phone partners do indeed intend to release a number of LTE devices in the coming half-year, all on AT&T.

The information I have relates to the US market only. These plans will be officially revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next month.

Three LTE-based Windows Phone handsets–the Nokia ACE, HTC Radiant, and Samsung Mendel–will ship on AT&T Wireless before the middle of 2012. The ACE is due March 18, 2012.

What’s unclear is whether these LTE based devices will be accompanied by a software update of some kind. You may recall that the rumored "Tango" release, supposedly due in early 2012, is about low-end phones. So it’s unclear how that jives with LTE, which is obviously a high-end feature. This explains my confusion over the supposed Windows Phone roadmap leak yesterday.

Also, the Nokia Lumia 710 will ship on Verizon Wireless in April 2012. This is not an LTE device, and it’s not clear when/if we’ll see one on Verizon. The Lumia 710 is codenamed "Sword" and will be available in April 2012. (The T-Mobile version of the Lumia 710 will be available for purchase on January 11, 2012, giving the company three months of exclusivity before the device hits Verizon.)

Interesting…exciting but I still have to say, if Microsoft’s plan continues to rely on AT&T only then nothing will change. They need to hit all carriers with new devices at the same time to have a marketing push. A device here and there and some low end and some high end simply won’t do it. Can’t get excited for a platform if your carrier isn’t selling any (or if they’re 18 month old devices). Hopefully this is the start and there’s more that we don’t know yet and I hope it includes a high end Nokia that hits across all US carriers with a real marketing blitz (think of the attention the original Droid ads had).









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(8) Readers Comments

  1. Agreed – AT&T has not been a great partner for MS; not knowing about the devices and actively steering customers away from them. I’m still an advocate of all handsets on all carriers. *That’s* competition.

  2. IMO, this is a good move by Microsoft. They should always show middle finger to VZ because of their VP’s buttheaded statements proclaming WP7 is not necessary.

  3. Pissing off the largest carrier in the USA is a good idea?

  4. Well if this is true then VZW’s sticking point about WP7 needing to support LTE has been met, so if they still do not announce a Verizon LTE WP7 phone it would seem its Verizon who’s not willing to carry a device rather than the fault being with lack of LTE support in the OS.

    MS cant do a lot in that case and are going with the next best thing, LTE devices on a carrier that is willing to carry them. Cant blame them for that and TBH this is just the kind of power abuse that should be resisted. Hopefully at&t is wildly successful with these devices and VZW sees significant churn because of it.

  5. MS is hardly in the position Apple was with the iPhone to enter into a power struggle with Verizon. They are a large and, as of now, 99.99% untapped market in the USA.

    Sometimes you call the game, and sometimes you just have to play ball.

  6. What hasn’t been said is that Nokia has been fighting to get the right placement and push from carriers. They are not content to let the phones sit in the back of the store and not get pushed. Verizon can say whatever they want but at the end of the day they don’t feel the need to push WP hard. They know there is a certain percentage of their customers who want a WP device but they are committed to pushing the iPhone and Android.

    AT&T will have Nokia in a good placement. Nokia will also be doing alot of their own advertisement.

    I had already wrote in a recent article that there will be a continuous flow of new WP devices being released not just once a year like the 1st and 2nd Gen devices were. Nokia will be kicking it off in 2012 followed by HTC and Samsung.

    Microsoft needs to accelerate their plans to open up retail locations and that will screw Verizon in the backside. That allows Microsoft to be more like Apple in that they have a unfiltered contact point with customers.

  7. Rumor is Nokia offered them the Lumia 900 with LTE, and they rejected it. At least that is the story over at WMPoweruser.

    Microsoft should not allow Verizon anywhere near Windows 8 tablets until they commit to WP. They should also cancel Verizon Fios on Xbox Live. Microsoft has plenty of ways to play hard ball with Verizon.

  8. @Anthony Rock: Well, MSFT might be smaller in the mobile frontend right now, but they have Windows * with mobility in mind and that would pull a lot of chunk from other platforms to Microsoft mobility again. That would leave VZ behind and probably people would start defecting VZ. I see VZ becomes main carrier for Googorola phones that pisses of other Android phone makers such as Samsung, HTC, LG and others, poor selection of rest of the phones from rest of the platforms and finally expesive plan. Even though I am not fan of AT&T, at least current AT&T carries some of the enticing smartphones, which keeps it engaged even though their Customer Service ratings suck. Disclaimer: I don’t own AT&T and VZ and I use AT&T as main carrier and never encountered until any issue with them for the past 15 years (starting with original AT&T).