Ever since Nokia’s handset arm was officially consumed by Microsoft, we haven’t seen too much in the way of product rumors concerning the newly minted Microsoft Devices division, much less any actual, um, devices. That changes today. Thanks to a well-placed source, the very beginnings of Nokia’s next stage of life are starting to become clear — throughout the rest of this year and into 2015.
First let’s discuss already-announced, but yet-to-be-released, smartphones: the first x30 models, introduced by Stephen Elop in San Francisco, and powered by Windows Phone 8.1 “Blue.” Currently the higher end model, the Lumia 930, is only available in the US through Verizon as the 929 / Icon — and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. The Lumia 635, however, is a different story: it will be picked up by T-Mobile, AT&T, and AT&T’s Cricket this month or next, and even Sprint, though that version may ship later, with updated firmware.
Next up we have the Lumia 530, codenamed Rock — by all accounts an entry level handset designed to compete with the growing hoard of budget Androids. The 530 should hit T-mobile in the middle of the summer, and come to Cricket at the beginning of the fourth quarter, running Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box.
Now is when things get interesting. The next wave of devices to hit US carriers from Team Nokiasoft will all ship with Windows Phone Blue GDR1: the internal codename for the operating system update that comes after 8.1. The first GDR1 devices should begin hitting shelves in the third quarter: they include Tesla for AT&T and Superman for Verizon, both described as mid-range. The fall flagship, then, will be a device codenamed McLaren. Shipping in time for the holidays, McLaren should see wide release, with AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile all reportedly signed up to carry it.
As we move into 2015, details are even more scarce — even the operating system versions are not clear. In the spring we can expect a pair of devices on AT&T and elsewhere known as Makepeace and Dempsey — nothing more is known about them yet. Finally, looking over twelve months ahead, the late summer / early fall lineup should be dominated by a phablet codenamed Cityman and a flagship handset called Talkman.
It’s an exciting time for Nokia, to be sure — even though the name is gone, the spirit endures, and the future path is multi-pronged but well-defined. Please note that like all pre-announcement reports, anything can happen to cause the company to deviate from this exact gameplan: plans can and do change ALL THE TIME. There are surely more phones and other types of devices in the works than those mentioned here, and some of those listed may be killed at any stage of development.
Image: Markku Ulander/Getty