In October, Nokia launched the Lumia 800 in Europe as its first Windows Phone device after dumping Symbian earlier this year. The manufacturer hasn't had a strong U.S. presence for several years. In order to turn itself around, it has to pay attention to the U.S. market. Based on invitations being sent out by T-Mobile for a December 14 event, Nokia is ready to get back in.
Details are sparse on the invitation. It just says that "T-Mobile and Nokia have something exciting in the works." It makes sense that T-Mobile would be first to partner with Nokia: Nokia has little experience with U.S.-based CDMA networks, so that eliminates both Verizon and Sprint as an initial partner.
AT&T would be another viable option since it is a GSM carrier, but AT&T has little reason to add another manufacturer at this point. T-Mobile, on the other hand, needs to take risks. It is the only major U.S. carrier that doesn't have the iPhone and there is nothing in its Android lineup that really makes it stand out from the competition. A Windows Phone-powered Nokia gives T-Mobile something unique, for a little while at least.
The question then is what phone will be announced? The Nokia Lumia 710 is a good bet. The phone is already on the Nokia U.S. website. The 710 has a 3.7" screen encased in a phone that is just under half an inch thick and weighs 4.4 ounces. It claims 7.6 hours of 3G talk-time and 6 hours of video playback with its 1,300-mAh battery. It supports tri-band GSM (900, 1800, and 1900) as well as three WCDMA bands (900, 1900, and 2100). The processor is a Qualcomm MSM8255 running at 1,400 MHz. There is 8 GB of storage space and 512 MB of RAM to handle active tasks.
It, of course, has everything Windows Phone 7.5 offers, as well as the Nokia Drive app.
This won't be a massive iPhone-esque launch for T-Mobile, but it could breathe some new life into the fourth-place carrier, and it gives Nokia an entrance back into the U.S. market, a market it has to have a significant presence in if it hopes to regain some of its former glory.
We'll know more next Wednesday. It could be just an announcement of things to come, or it could be the launch of a new phone that very day.