Windows Phone 8 Release Will Be Exclusive To AT&T; Lumia 920 And 820 Coming Soon

on October 04 2012 6:41 PM

Windows Phone 8 is on the verge of release, and now AT&T has officially announced that it will offer the Nokia flagship phone. The nation’s second-largest carrier has revealed that the Lumia 920 and mid-range Lumia 820 will join HTC’s Windows Phone 8X in its fall lineup.

The Lumia 920 will be an AT&T exclusive, the company said Thursday.

“Exclusive to our customers and featuring unique innovations in imagining technology, wireless charging, and a bright, sensitive display — all on the nation’s largest 4G network — the Lumia 920 will be one of the hottest phones for the holidays,” said Jeff Bradley, senior VP of Devices and Developer Services for AT&T.

Given this information, it’s likely that Verizon won’t be getting the Windows Phone 8 Nokia products, but  some speculate that the carrier could release a similar device.

“There’s still a chance that Verizon may have a modified version of the Lumia 920 … a Lumia 92X or some such,” writes Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet.

Nokia has boasted that its Windows Phone 8 flagship will come in vibrant colors, but the AT&T store will offer the phone only in its basic black, red, and white. Those ordering the phone online will be able to get the Lumia 920 in yellow and cyan. The Lumia 820 will be sold only in black, but AT&T will sell additional colored shells for the device.

Although AT&T has confirmed that the Windows Phone 8 devices will launch in November, no official release date or price has been revealed. However, sources have previously said the Nokia Lumia 920 will be released on Nov. 2. In early September insiders told The Verge that Microsoft and AT&T were working together to complete a number of tests before the Windows Phone 8 Nokias hit the market. 

In a slew of clues supporting imminent launch rumors, Russia announced that pre-orders for the two Windows Phone 8 devices have begun. The news came at the end of last month just as the pricing information for the Russian variants had emerged. The higher-end Lumia 920 will be priced at 24,990 rubles, or $801, while the 820 will cost 19,990 rubles, translating to $640. This followed previous reports from various sources, including Reuters, saying European Windows Phone 8 devices would come in November.

Nokia’s Lumia family may represent the beginning of what’s to come for Microsoft. The Redmond, Wash.-based company admitted that plans for its own self-branded smartphone may be in the works, but Microsoft fans won’t be seeing this until 2013 at the earliest. The device is currently referred to as the “Surface” phone, since it is likely that Microsoft will work off the success of its forthcoming tablet before launching a smartphone.

This could help or hurt the PC-software maker—it could edge Microsoft back into the smartphone industry but may anger hardware partners such as Nokia in the process.

At the end of October Microsoft is expected to announce all of its upcoming ventures. A press event on Oct. 25 will introduce the world to Windows 8 a day ahead of its official release, and the company is likely to reveal more information on its Surface tablet, Windows Phone 8, and other forthcoming releases. It was also recently revealed that Microsoft will launch on Oct. 26 its Xbox Music Service, which is a Spotify-like streaming service.

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