Although the Lumia 710 just launched on T-Mobile yesterday, Nokia's big push into the US market won't begin until CES kicks off in January. Chris Weber, President of Nokia North America, calls the 710 launch "Day 1 of Rolling Thunder," in reference to Nokia's internal name for its Windows Phone rollout in the US. "We will be launching a portfolio of devices in the U.S. across a range of price points, user experience and operators," says the former Microsoft employee brought into Nokia in February by another former Microsoftie, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop. Weber noted that CES was the focal point for Nokia's big coming out party, "We’ll have a very large presence and it’ll be clear that Nokia is back in a quite strong way in the US." Ten years ago Nokia held a 35 percent share of the US cellphone market, now it's near zero.
Stephen Elop told us in October that Nokia would launch a "portfolio of products" into the US in early 2012. We've also heard rumblings that Nokia and AT&T were working together on an LTE handset. Later CNET chimed in with support as well as additional information about a Verizon LTE device. All told, we're expecting to see a new Nokia flagship launch at CES with LTE and a display almost certainly pushing north of 4 inches. Anything less from Rolling Thunder will elicit polite golf claps from a US consumer base that has completely ignored Nokia's device portfolio since the iPhone launched back in 2007.