Nokia hints at new form factors and a 'hero device' for Q2

After rumours emerged this week that phablets and a 41-megapixel device were in the works at Nokia, its chief exec has added more fuel to the fire.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Nokia is not publicly commenting whether it it's planning to launch a phablet or tablet, but the company isn't ruling out adding new form factors to its Lumia lineup in the near future.

Nokia announced its first quarter earnings on Thursday, which saw its Lumia shipments up by 20 percent quarter on quarter — rising to 5.6 million from 4.4 million in the fourth quarter 2012. It also set itself an ambitious target of growing Lumia sales by more than 27 percent over the current quarter thanks to the wider availability of its new Lumia models and the easing of supply constraints.

On a call with analysts today, Nokia chief Stephen Elop said that what's driving this "bullishness" is its next round of product launches, coming this quarter. 

"Additionally, Nokia, Microsoft, and operators have agreed to increase the global Windows Phone marketing dollars towards Lumia," Elop said.

Nokia wants the next Lumia, at least for the US market, to reach "hero" status and says that in the next quarter people should expect to "see another hero move" by the company. 

"Later this quarter, a new Lumia device is anticipated to have hero status with a leading US operator," said Elop, noting that Nokia had achieved this with AT&T and the Lumia 920

Phablet in the works?

Earlier today, the Financial Times reported that Nokia was planning to launch a phablet, similar in size to Samsung's Galaxy Note, but with "more advanced" specs. 

While Nokia declined to comment on the rumours, Elop told analysts today that the current Lumia lineup could be taken in two new directions in future: pushing down price points and "expanding that effort to broader form factors" — a hint perhaps that a tablets and phablets could indeed be on the way.

Elop added the company will continue to differentiate upcoming products through their imaging capabilities — similar to its strategy for the Windows Phone 8-powered Lumia 920.   

"You should watch for us in the imaging area to continue to advance the state of the art, like what is the best experience on imaging on devices. But you should also watch from us is taking that experience and delivering a appropriate levels of that experience on lower price point devices through the range," he said, giving credence to recent rumours suggesting a flagship handset packing the 41-megapixel sensor last seen on the PureView 808 would be debuting soon.

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