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Nokia: first Windows Phone handsets won't differentiate much, working with CDMA carriers

Sea Ray
Sea Ray

In just under 24 hours, Stephen Elop will take the stage at Nokia World to reveal the company's first Windows Phone 7 device -- codenamed the Sea Ray. However, don't expect it to "differ greatly" from the other Windows Phone 7 phones on the market. Nokia's executive vice president of smart devices Jo Harlow told the Wall Street Journal that the company focused first and foremost on getting the new Windows Phone 7 devices out the door as quickly as possible. "Our focus has been on getting to market, as opposed to lots of differentiation," she said, while elaborating that limiting the number of features to make sure it launched on time was a strategy Nokia picked up from Microsoft itself. In fact, she says that "feature creep" — adding more features — had led Nokia to delays in the past.

However, that sameness won't stick around for long. Harlow said it still plans to launch Windows Phone devices across different price ranges and it aims to be the first out the gate with future devices that run Microsoft's newest versions of the operating system. Lastly, it plans to work with both CDMA operators worldwide as well as US carriers, including Verizon. We've had a strong feeling about that Verizon partnership, and considering Verizon doesn't have any of the new Mango devices in its arsenal, it would certainly give Nokia a bit of that differentiation it's after. We'll be live at the event early tomorrow morning, so stay tuned for all the official news.