Microsoft unwraps first non-Nokia Lumia, to be unveiled next week

Microsoft will unveil its first own-branded Lumia device next Tuesday, and bets are on that it's a low-end phone.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
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Microsoft's first non-Nokia phone? Image: Microsoft

Microsoft flagged last month that its first Lumia device to be released without Nokia branding was on the way soon. That device now looks set to be unveiled on Tuesday.

Microsoft today published a teaser for the device, somewhat ironically, on its yet to be rebranded Nokia Conversations blog.

After acquiring Nokia's devices and service unit in April, Microsoft has been releasing mobile devices under the Nokia brand name. Microsoft confirmed in October that it is moving ahead with a rebranding effort that will see the Nokia marque disappear from any old Nokia social media accounts, websites and of course smartphones, the first of which would be "coming soon". The only Nokia-branded devices that will remain in Microsoft's portfolio going forward will be its super budget phones, such as the Nokia 130, which don't run Windows Phone.

In a very short post about the forthcoming device, Microsoft said it is "delivering the power of everyday mobile technology to everyone". The company plans to reveal all about the new hardware on November 11.

The image it posted of the device displays a bright orange casing and a front-facing camera, suggesting it’s continuing with the selfie theme running through through the mid-range smartphone market.

The device shown in the blog post looks very like leaked images supposedly of a yet-to-be-released Microsoft device posted on a Chinese website.

If the leaked details are on the mark, Microsoft will be releasing a phone for the masses. The alleged specs include a five-inch display, 1.2GHz Snapdragon 200 chipset, dual-SIM, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage — somewhat similar to the Lumia 635 released earlier this year. However, the device shown by Microsoft has a front-facing camera, which Microsoft has typically not included on its lower-end handsets, leading some to speculate that tablet may be on the way instead.

A low-tier device may be disappointing news, in particular for US consumers that are hankering for a new flagship from Microsoft. The last was the Lumia Icon (or 929), which launched in February, and recent rumours suggest Verizon is on the brink of putting it out to pasture.

Microsoft did release the Nokia Lumia 930 in July — but it was only destined for the EMEA region, notably where Microsoft has had greater success at establishing market share than in the US, though primarily through lower-end devices like the Lumia 520.

Still, Microsoft needs to plough on at the lower end if it hopes to challenge the appeal of smartphones under Google's new Android One program

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