Release Date Pending for Nokia ‘Catwalk,’ Likely a Lumia 920 Upgrade

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Nokia is gearing up to take its next step toward smartphone relevance.

The Finland-based handset manufacturer’s next flagship phone, codenamed new “Catwalk,” made an appearance at last week’s Mobile World Congress during an invitation-only session, according to a Russian blogger in attendance.

Nokia's Lumia 920Translating the blog, CNET says the new device will be housed in a slimmer, all-aluminum body with a thinner version of the Lumia 920’s PureView Phase 2 camera. A second-quarter release is anticipated, but not confirmed.

Meantime, it won’t be long before you see another Nokia handset the Lumia 720 available for sale online and on store shelves. The phone, which made a more public debut at MWC, doesn’t stack up to the 920 or the “Catwalk” in terms of power, but look for it to come at a very reasonable price when it debuts most likely first at AT&T among U.S. carriers, SlashGear reported. It just showed up on an FCC website, indicating that a launch should come within the next month or so.

Nokia has teamed with Microsoft and its Windows Phone operating system, producing mixed results so far. The first fleet of devices featuring Windows Phone 7 sold well in their first couple of months on the market a year ago, but quickly faded. The next batch, based on Windows 8, hit the market last fall, and have had more staying power, thanks in part to a big marketing push from both the manufacturer and the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant. That being said, both companies are still only in a race for third place in market share  Nokia and a handful of others vendors are far behind Samsung and Apple, while Microsoft’s mobile operating system toils away behind Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.

Once the world leader in mobile phones, Nokia was left behind the smartphone revolution began with Apple’s iPhone a few years ago and followed with a bombardment of Android-based devices. Now it’s playing catch-up. The company is carving out a niche with its prices even the most high-end Lumias are selling for less than $100. Nokia’s smartphones are aimed at both the general consumer and the business user.

The manufacturer is also rumored to be working on a Nokia-branded tablet to run on Windows 8. Microsoft released the first version of a Windows 8 tablet, the Surface, last fall.

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