All along, many people were anticipating that Nokia would be the first to announce its new lineup of Windows Phone 8 devices. With a Nokia event scheduled for the first week of September, it didn’t seem likely that any other manufacturer would jump into the picture so early and unveil a competing handset or two. As Samsung had been flying under the radar and keeping mum about its plans to release a Windows Phone 8 handset, it was a bit of a shock for the South Korean company to announce the ATIV S yesterday at IFA 2012.
The ATIV S was announced almost as an afterthought, as most of the attention was focused on the Galaxy Note 2 phone/tablet hybrid which was announced earlier in the day. However, it carries a lot of promise as Samsung’s first-ever Windows Phone device – aside from the Windows Phone 8 operating system, the ATIV S will come with a 4.8-inch screen reinforced by Corning Gorilla Glass and include an 8-megapixel rear camera and 1.9-megapixel front camera. As seen in the specs, the ATIV S appears to be quite a formidable competitor in the Windows Phone wars.
Already, financial analysts are optimistic about Samsung’s chances of replacing Nokia as the preeminent maker of Windows Phone devices. According to McAdams Wright Ragen analyst Sid Parakh, “Microsoft or Windows never got their best teams, never got their best designs, just because Android was doing so well. With the change in the legal environment, there’s a case to be made that Samsung will likely shift some of those resources to broaden out or diversify their own exposure.” Parakh was referring to the recent patent case Samsung had recently lost, where Apple is expected to staunchly push for a sales ban on up to thirty Samsung devices.
Nokia, on the other hand, may have its work cut out on September 5, when it announces its new Windows Phone 8 handsets in New York. The new Nokia Windows Phones are expected to be out by fall 2012.