Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop promised to unveil a new smartphone using Microsoft's latest Windows 8 software soon, raising the prospect it will be launched in early September before rival Apple promotes its new iPhone.
President and CEO of Nokia Stephen Elop at a press conference in Barcelona on the opening day of the Mobile World Congress. The 2012 Mobile World Congress, the world's biggest mobile fair, will be held from February 27 to March 1 in Barcelona. AFP/Lluis Gene
The Finnish company, which is fighting for survival after losing out to rivals in the lucrative smartphone business, is due to hold a trade show in Helsinki on September 5-6, just before an Apple event on September 12 where the U.S. competitor could announce a redesigned iPhone.
Nokia, the world's second-largest cellphone maker, has not commented on what it will announce at the Nokia World event, but business magazines have said it will unveil the new Windows 8 smartphones.
Elop, in Oslo for a meeting with Telenor Chief Executive Jon Fredrik Baksaas, did not deny a September launch but would only say Windows 8 smartphones would be released "relatively near term."
Nokia shares, which have been trading near all-time lows, rose sharply after Elop's comments and traded up 7.5 percent at 0924 GMT.
Elop, who was brought in from Microsoft in September 2010 to lead the company's battle against increasingly dominant Apple and Samsung <005930.KS>, said he was sticking to his strategy of using Microsoft software despite the limited success of Windows Phones so far.
Nokia decided in early 2011 to ditch its home-grown Symbian software for a deal with Microsoft, aiming to catch up with Apple and Google in smartphones.
"I don't think about rewinding the clock and thinking about competing elsewhere," he told reporters.
"In today's war ... (between) Android, Apple and Windows, we are very clear, we are fighting that with the Windows phone."
Nokia lost 1.53 billion euros in the second quarter and sold just 4 million Windows phones in the period, well short of Apple's sales of 26 million iPhones and Samsung's 50 million smartphones