After months of rumors, Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) has just confirmed its Lumia 928 does indeed exist. The slightly modified version of its Lumia 920 flagship is expected to launch on Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)‘s network, although neither company is spilling the beans regarding any official dates quite yet.
The Finnish smartphone maker has posted a teaser image on its website, along with some print ads to the same effect. In line with Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)’s new differentiation strategy, the company is focusing heavily on camera capabilities and touting its PureView brand. Nokia notes that the new model will boast better low-light performance as well as optical image stabilization.
Scoring a spot on Big Red’s lineup would be a boon to both Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in the important U.S. market, since Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) Wireless remains the largest domestic carrier. Verizon has historically given Windows Phone low priority, in part because the HTC Trophy fared poorly among consumers. Nokia only has one device on Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) right now, the Lumia 822, which was initially launched as a mid-range device but has since been dropped to free on contract.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been making progress in the U.S. market, thanks largely to Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) since the Finnish OEM is the predominant purveyor of Windows Phones. Kantar Worldpanel Comtech’s most recent figures show that Windows Phone grew its U.S. market share to 5.6% in the first quarter, a healthy gain relative to the 3.7% slice it had a year ago.
In doing so, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has successfully claimed the No. 3 title from Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), whose U.S. share has fallen to 0.9%. BlackBerry’s Z10 launched in the U.S. at the very end March, so if the Z10 is going to turnaround Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s fortunes, investors won’t find out until second-quarter U.S. figures are released by industry watchers. There had been reports of high return rates for the Z10 in the U.S. after launch — reports that Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) adamantly disputed.