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Nokia’s Windows Phone devices will be announced this quarter says Reuters

CEO Stephen Elop has indicated that Nokia will be unveiling its first Windows-based smartphones this quarter. Elop says that there is a market for an alternative to Apple and Android.

“Our belief is that there is a clear opportunity for an alternative ecosystem,” Stephen Elop told the audience at a technology fair in Helsinki, adding that he saw the battle extending to tablet computers and televisions.

A Windows Phone-based Nokia appearing before the end of this year is pretty much expected. This was also mentioned during the Nokia N9 Malaysia launch event held last month. The question now is whether Malaysia will be one of the markets where Nokia will launch its Windows Phone device this year, considering that there is a large Nokia and Microsoft presence in the country.

While there is no official word on this at the moment, rumours are rife that the launch of Windows Phone Nokia devices hinge on the local support for Windows Phone Marketplace. Currently local support for Marketplace is one of the biggest issues with Windows Phone in Malaysia. Aside from the lack of features compared to iOS and Android (which has been somewhat addressed with the release of Mango recently), local Marketplace support is a huge barrier for Windows Phone to gain any traction in Malaysia.

Windows Phone is a big deal for Nokia, it signifies Nokia’s competitive entrance into the smartphone arena and it will want to make sure that it creates the right environment for its Windows Phone devices to thrive — and the key to this will be Marketplace.

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So for those who are wondering when Nokia Windows Phone devices will come to Malaysia, the answer, it looks like, rests on Microsoft.