Paul Amsellem, head of Nokia France, recently confirmed with local newspaper Les Echos that the company will indeed release a Windows 8 tablet next year. There are also plans for two additional Windows Phone handsets in the same timeframe, one higher-end than the current Lumia 800 and one less expensive than the Lumia 710.
"[The Lumia 800 is] a bit the equivalent of the BMW 5 Series," said Amsellem [as translated from French]. "We will soon have a full range with a Series 7 and Series 3," he said (continuing his BMW comparison). "And in June 2012, we will have a tablet running Windows 8."
Based on a "leaked" roadmap, Windows 8 is scheduled to go into beta during CES 2012 in January, followed by a Release Candidate in April. After that, the upcoming OS is expected to see an RTM release in June followed by the final retail version in August. That said, consumers may not actually see Windows 8 devices until August 2012.
Naturally Nokia is neither confirming nor denying the development of a Windows 8 tablet despite Amsellem's comment. "We haven’t announced any plans anywhere in the world at this point regarding a potential tablet strategy," a Nokia spokesperson stated.
Nokia also would not elaborate on the comment about the two upcoming Lumia phones. "There is no doubt that in the long term we view our Windows Phone 'Lumia' devices as a portfolio play – today we have announced 2 devices in the portfolio – the Nokia Lumia 710 and the Nokia Lumia 800," the spokesperson added. "However, the Nokia Lumia 800 represents the ‘flagship’ of our current portfolio – and we haven’t revealed what else may be in store in the future for the Lumia portfolio."
Wednesday at a Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecoms Conference in Barcelona, Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop said that the company plans to undercut Windows Phone rivals to give its new smartphones a foothold in the market before trying to improve margins.
"You see us pricing the devices so that that we can get what we think will be a good volume," Elop told Reuters. "What we hear from developers (is) they recognize the commitment we have made. We need to ship volumes of devices to further attract them."