CES is shaping up to be Nokia’s re-debut with their line of Windows Phones all set to be announced at CES. As many as three Lumia variants may be seen at the show, the Lumia 710 for T-Mobile is all but confirmed. However, there will likely be at least one LTE variant announced, the Lumia 800 with LTE for AT&T, and possibly the announcement of Lumia 800 CDMA units for Verizon Wireless and other CDMA carriers, such as Sprint.
The situation surrounding the Lumia 800 for AT&T is much clearer than the 800’s CDMA counterparts. The Lumia 710 has not been rumored to be making the jump to CDMA. Verizon Wireless may be willing to accept a CDMA only variant as a temporary measure to launch the device. The Lumia 800 with LTE does not have CDMA, putting Nokia in a bind; it apparently has decided to forgo an LTE-with-CDMA version in lieu of launching what it has already developed, and later launching a device with both on Verizon.
It’s not clear though why Verizon would accept such a device. It would be taking a non-4G version of the same 4G phone that AT&T will carry. Sales would also be impacted; tech-savvy would avoid the phone like the plague. Even in non-4G markets, Verizon’s throttling policies dictate that to avoid throttling, you have to own an LTE-enabled phone. This move was made to ensure that iPhone, which lacks LTE, would be throttled. Here however, it may only serve to quash sales.
The Lumia 710 may be targeting the iPhone 4 in terms of customer base, but it may wind up competing against the iPhone 3GS. Wirefly is already selling the phone for free with a new two-year contract.
PhoneNews.com will be kicking off CES 2011 coverage, live from Las Vegas, later this week.