Windows Phone Arabic support coming in H2 2012. Nokia to launch its Windows Phone in Europe this quarter.

First off, bad news for all you Windows Phone users in the middle east who are still waiting for proper Arabic language support in Windows Phone. According to Tom Farrell, Nokia’s general manager of Lower Gulf. The Arabic support will apparently only come in the second half of 2012 around the same time Windows Phone 8 aka Apollo is expected to launch. The other piece of info is another confirmation that the company’s first Windows Phone will ship in Europe this quarter (no mention of the US again so be prepared to be disappointed..).

“We will launch and start selling this quarter in Europe, because Windows Phone has the language support for European countries. However, it doesn’t support Arabic until second half of next year. We won’t say it’s a launch in this region because it needs Arabic,”

Continue reading Windows Phone Arabic support coming in H2 2012. Nokia to launch its Windows Phone in Europe this quarter. →

Another render of the Nokia Searay

Here’s another render of what may be either the Nokia Searay courtesy of T-Mobile in Germany. There isn’t much to say here given that we don’t have much information the device’s final specification (other than the 3.7″ screen noted here). But it remains to be seen if Nokia will use the Searay codename as the final retail product name (remember the AT&T renders of the HTC Mondrian..). We will know soon enough

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Don’t mess with Nokia’s secret Windows Phone

I can understand companies having strict policies about internal leaks especially Microsoft who’s constantly the “victim” of such things but this one caught me by surprise: Joe Marini, Principal Program Manager for Windows Phone (the IE9/HTML5 dev head) has just quit the company’s when he got informed that he was going to be fired apparently because of his recent tweets about the Nokia Sea Ray (here). Ouch.. One thing’s for sure though; that “Apple like” secrecy policy that Nokia talked about a few months ago is in full effect.

As I posted last week my sources told me that the handset should start shipping in mid-october (I’m awaiting more info on this but what just happened with Joe will surely make this more complicated)

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Nokia SeaRay Windows Phone to start shipping in mid-october ?

You may have noticed that I’m not a big fan of rumors and that I usually try to avoid posting about such things but this time I would like to share with you an interesting bit info that I heard earlier today from a trustworthy source (I tweeted about it here). If you remember I discussed the Nokia SeaRay unveiling not long ago when a Microsoft rep told me during the HTC Titan / Radar launch event that Nokia World (October 26) won’t be where the mysterious phone will be unveiled. This made me assume that Microsoft and Nokia will probably announce the device earlier than Oct 26 given that HTC is now scheduled to ship its Mango handsets on the first week of October in Europe while AT&T was apparently in a rush to announce its line up and spill the beans about the Samsung Focus S and Samsung Focus Flash without waiting for the formal Samsung unveiling (note that we still don’t have the full Samsung devices specs or even a single official picture or render). The Mango update roll out is also still officially expected to start this fall (fall starts on September 23).

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The Nokia Sea Ray won’t be announced at Nokia World

Before posting my HTC Titan and HTC Radar hands on impression I wanted to talk about something interesting that a Microsoft rep told during the HTC Event a few minutes ago. I specifically asked him about the Nokia Sea Ray announcement and the Nokia World event taking place in London on October 26th because I anted to know if this was the date and location of Nokia’s first Windows Phone unveiling. HE was obviously reluctant to answer this question but finally told me that Nokia World wasn’t going to be it and that there is another other specific event scheduled for the device’s launch (before or after Oct 26th?). This is obviously not an official statement so please take with a grain salt but given today’s HTC event , the launch of the Fujitsu IS12T last week I wouldn’t be surprised if Nokia does something prior to Nokia world.

Nokia 703 / Sea Ray specs leak?

Mister Blurry Cam is at it again. The picture above supposedly reveals the hardware specifications of the Nokia 703 (a model number that has popped update lately) which looks relatively similar to the Nokia Sea Ray. Interestingly there’s also a Nokia 800 device in the wild so it is yet unknown if both are the same or if one is EU bound only or if there’s any difference at all between the two.

Back to the blurry picture. There’s some disappointing things in there (if it turns out to be true…) first the camera is a step down from the Nokia N9′s groundbreaking 8Mpix Sensor. The Nokia 703 is said to have a 5Mpix camera (no word on the optics). It also apparently only feature 8Gb of on-board storage, a 3.7″ Clear Black AMOLED WVGA display. Once agin take this kind of stuff with a heavy pinch of salt. Check out my earlier Nokia SeaRay hardware specification guess here.

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Nokia still looking for a name for its line of US Windows Phones ?

This is rather perplexing to say the least. Nokia is apparently still looking for a cool name for its US line of Windows Phones which is set to materialize this fall with the launch of the Nokia SeaRay. The company’s Head of Developer Marketing in North America has started a poll 5 days ago asking his Twitter followers to vote for one of the (ridiculous) suggestions or submit their own. If this is to be taken sinuously then something is wrong somewhere because the lack of product name today (August 30th) means that there’s still no marketing material ready or anything of that sort which is worrying given that the Fujitsu IS12T is already available and that HTC is set to unveil its line of Mango handsets later this week.

As I’ve been telling you for a while now the first Nokia Windows Phone will only be available in relatively short supply this year and it may now seem that the priority will be put on Europe first.

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All future Nokia phones to feature NFC support

According to Nokia’s VP Ilari Nurmi, from now on, all of our products will have an NFC chip inside. Another Nokia VP, Mark Selby, added that the company will ad support for such chips in their Windows Phone 7 handsets. NFC support in Nokia’s Windows Phones has long been rumored but never confirmed. It isn’t the first time that the Finnish mobile manufacturer has claimed that all of its upcoming handsets will be NFC equipped so this isn’t really anything new.

Unfortunately this doesn’t mean that the Nokia Sea Ray will indeed by NFC equipped but one can only hope that this will be the case given that the company’s first Windows Phone 7 handset hardware will be for the most part based on the Nokia N9 which has has an NFC chip (but different SoC and screen).

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Compal on track to start shipping 2 Million Windows Phones to Nokia in September

According to Taiwanese media outlets, ODM Compal will start shipping 2 Million Windows Phones to Nokia in September (and through out Q4 2011). We have previously learned that Compal became a Windows phone ODM that will also supply handsets to Acer this year. This news means that we probably shouldn’t expect the Nokia Searay to hit the market before October at the earliest which should be when other OEMs will also start shipping their new Mango handsets. 2 Million is a pretty big number for Windows Phone and could be a sign that Nokia is indeed planning a big marketing push for the holiday season to sell all those handsets in the following months.

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Nokia SeaRay spotted on AT&T network

Some eagle eyed folks have spotted the Nokia SeaRay being used on AT&T’s network via the DSLReport speed test results. This is far from being a shocker given that there are probably quite a few SeaRay handsets currently being used and tested worldwide prior to its upcoming launch this fall. The good news though is that if you are an AT&T users that you can now most probably expect it under you Christmas tree this year.

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Nokia Sea Ray to be unveiled on August 17th during Gamescon in Germany?


Nokia has apparently started to send out invites for a Windows Phone related event taking place on August 17th during the Gamescon event in Cologne, Germany. This could be the Nokia Sea Ray official unveiling but nothing can be confirmed yet. I first speculated that Nokia would unveil the handset a few weeks prior to the Nokia World event in October but now that Mango is RTM and that the Fujitsu IS12T has been introduced it’s only logical for Nokia and the other Windows Phone OEMs to start to create some buzz by announcing their upcoming Windows Phone 7.5 handset which should start hitting carriers and retail stores as early as October.

UPDATE: Nokia started to send out the invites last week so I uploaded a not watermarked version of it. This is only a developer focused event after all… Thanks to Katsura in the comments
Continue reading Nokia Sea Ray to be unveiled on August 17th during Gamescon in Germany? →

Nokia Sea Ray shown on video again: This time in its retail form

A new video of the Nokia Sea Ray phone has just appeared on a Chinese forum showing what looks like the final retail version of the hardware running what appears to be a relatively recent build of the Mango OS (with the new scare Windows Logo). As I speculated a few weeks ago the device does indeed have real capacitive hardware buttons and isn’t using the N9 854X480 screen like the earlier prototype we saw (I wonder what our favorite russian fool is going to say now). Anyway hit the break to check out the device in action:

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Microsoft hopes to sell 100 Million Windows Phones a year thanks to Nokia deal

Microsoft’s COO Kevin Turner just announced during his WPC 2011 keynote that the company’s hopes to sell up to 100 Million Windows Phone devices per year thanks to the collaboration with Nokia:

We have dreams and aspirations that we can get to 100 million units per year with that single deal.

The company is still long ways off like Steve Ballmer said 2 days ago during his keynote: “Marketshare went from very small too…very small”. This fall’s launch of Mango will be key to the platform’s success. We have already seen several of the upcoming phones by Nokia, HTC, Samsung, Acer, Fujistu and, ZTE but Marketing will also have to be top notch. Hit the break for a Google and Oracle bashing slides straight from the keynote:

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Nokia preparing multi-million dollars ad campaign for Windows Phone launch in October

Looks like Nokia is gearing up for the fall launch of its first Windows Phone handsets the recently leaked Nokia Sea Ray. According to sources in the UK the company is plotting a £80M 6 months global advertising campaign to reposition its brand. The Finnish company is working with several agency on it but won’t comment on it:

‘We are excited about the Nokia with Windows phone, but it’s not our policy to comment on specific campaigns for unannounced products.’

If Microsoft can’t correctly market WP7 then maybe Nokia will finally do it right… The ad campaign will most probably launch on October 26 in time for the Nokia World event.

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In depth look at Nokia’s upcoming camera sensor and optics

Nokia still knows a thing or two about camera sensors and optics so if you are interested in knowing what’s behind the Nokia N9 camera sensor and Carl Zeiss optics, which will most probably the one featured in the Nokia Sea Ray Windows Phone 7 device, then should definitely check out what went into designing this new camera module which is 70% smaller in size compared to the one in the Nokia N8.

To have a single sensor that provides this capability, however, means a sensor with more pixels than you need at any one time. In the case of the new Nokia N9, while it says 8-megapixels on the product, the sensor is actually 8.7-megapixels. You can see in the illustration the total area covered by the image sensor as well as the portions of the sensor used according to the chosen aspect ratio. The result of this is the only mobile device which genuinely gets more in the width of the picture than the industry norm 4:3, leaving you the flexibility to choose the best aspect ratio for the scene.

One of the benefits of Nokia’s scale has long been being able to work directly with component manufacturers to design and develop bespoke components. This new sensor, like in many of our products, especially the Nokia N8, is designed and developed to our own specification and exclusively supplied to Nokia, as are our optics of course: no off-the-shelf components will meet our demanding requirements.

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Windows Phone 7 Mango requires hardware buttons

Another day in the blogosphere. Our beloved Russian blogger is now claiming after seeing the month old Nokia Sea Ray prototype picture, that Windows Phone 7 Mango devices aren’t required to have hardware buttons. As it’s usually the case with this dude’s tweet they are re-posted all over the place by other blogs (I even got tipped for it earlier today).

So here’s what we know: The reason why the Sea Ray prototype doesn’t have hardware buttons is because it’s using the Nokia N9 chassis which doesn’t have buttons and sports a 854×480 screen The bottom 54 pixels are used for on-screen buttons leaving 800×480 pixels to render the OS. Now unless every OEMs wants to use a 854×480 screen how is this going to be possible and why the hell would this be done anyway given that according to Microsoft themselves Mango devices are required to have hardware buttons as seen in the latest chassis guidelines released during the MIX11 conference ? Then again, we’ve seen stranger things lately…

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Nokia Sea Ray hardware specifications

We obviously don’t know much about the Nokia Sea Ray (or Nokia SeaRay) Windows Phone handset yet but given what we know about Mango, its certified chassis and the Nokia N9 which is what the Sea Ray is based on in terms of design here are what will most probably be the hardware specifications of the device. Just keep in mind that nothing’s official yet and that early prototypes are apparently simply Nokia N9 chassis with the internals replaced and Windows Phone 7 running on them. So check out the possible Nokia Sea Ray hardware specification after the break:

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Nokia Sea Ray prototype picture shows unfinished hardware based on Nokia N9 chassis

A new picture of the recently unveiled Nokia Sea Ray (or Nokia SeaRay depending on the correct spelling) poped up on XDA earlier today (but dates back from last May) and shows that the hardware has yet to be finalized. As you can see in the picture above the device has on-screen buttons instead of the 3 hardware buttons mandated by the Windows Phone 7 hardware specifications. Many people think that what we are seeing above is fake but I can tell you that is most probably the real deal.

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Nokia SeaRay Windows Phone to ship with Nokia Maps Drive application and contacts importing feature

In case you missed it the first Nokia Windows Phone device named the Nokia SeaRay (or Nokia Sea Ray) has just been un-officially unveiled by Nokia yesterday.

The Nokia Sea Ray features a Gorilla Glass screen and a 8Mp camera with Carl Zeiss Optics and I guess an Qualcomm MSM8255 SoC. According to the whole presentation (after the break) the device will ship with pre-installed Nokia application like Nokia Maps Drive Navigation which I guess will be an application similar to this (a stop gap solution before Ovi Maps gets integrated into Bing Maps later) and the ability to import contact from all Nokia handsets to Windows Phone 7. Stephen Elop also announced that the company already has other Windows Phone 7 device up and running (with different designs):

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