White Lumias are also nearing the market

Reuters has cited several sources as confirming weeks of rumors that Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) -- the world's largest phone-maker by volume (when feature phones are included in the mix) -- is preparing to unveil a budget Windows Phone handset at the 2012 Mobile World Congress next week in Barcelona, Spain.  

I. New Phones -- The Lumia 610, White Variants

Past reports from other sources hint at a sub-$160 price, off contract, which would make the phone half as expensive as the Lumia 710, which retails for $315 USD off contract.

 Nokia Lumia 610
The Nokia Lumia 610 [Image Source: Data Mobile Phone]

The new phone is expected to run Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) new Windows Phone Tango release, which will include support for lower-end hardware.  Specifically, Tango is thought to allow for a spec that support slower processors (the current spec mandates a 1 GHz single-core processor) and lower resolution screens (the current spec mandates 480x800 4-point capactive multi-touch screens) -- which possibly may lack multi-touch.

The new budget models will fill a gap in what globally is known as "mid-range" smartphones, but which American consumer tend to think of as "low-end" smartphones.  Nokia currently offers true low-end "smart" feature phones which uses its in-house developed S40 operating system.  Going ahead, Windows Phone should occupy its high- to mid-range lineup, while S40 will continue to be its go-to operating system on the low end.

The new model would mark Nokia's fourth major Windows Phone launch, following the Nokia Lumia 710 and Nokia Lumia 800 ("Sea Ray") -- which debuted in October -- and the Nokia Lumia 900's debut at CES.

Reports also indicate that Nokia is borrowing a page from Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) playbook and is going to be releasing glossy white variants of its various Lumia smartphones [1][2].  

Nokia white Lumia phones
Nokia is preparing white Lumias for the market. [Images Source: Engadget]

The white Nokia 800 has been officially announced and ships at the end of the month.  The Nokia 900's white variant was leaked via an accidental post to the company's corporate Facebook.  Reportedly the white Nokia 900 has also been given as an option to some users in the $25 preorder for the handset that's going on over at the Microsoft Store.

An international version of the Lumia 900, supporting more global networks' 3G and 4G frequencies is also expected.

II. A Surprise

Last, but not least, a mysterious video direct-from-Nokia has surfaced on YouTube:

It looks like it might have something to do with imaging given the phrases "Pure detail", "Pure depth", and "Pure definition", followed by the catch phrase "Get ready to capture a pure view."

As an extra bonus here's another video of a Finnish print shop using an antique printing press to craft fliers for Nokia's "Pure" announcement.

It doesn't really give any extra insight into exactly what Nokia plans, and there's no sound, but something about watching a Nordic craftsman use a CAD-machined wood printing block on a classic piece of machinery is impressive to us.

III. Windows Phone Outlook

Nokia has struggled to get Windows Phone out the gate, but it finally appears to be coming on strong, ramping up for an aggressive 2012 Windows Phone campaign.  Early sales of the Nokia 710 and 800 have been small given the limited release geography, but the exceeded analysts' pessimistic predictions.  Nokia will surely look to continue to surprise performance-wise as it makes the push to make Windows Phone a true third competitor to Android and Apple's iPhone in market share.

Microsoft recently paid Nokia $250M USD for its loyal support of the Windows Phone platform.

Sources: Reuters, TechRadar

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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