Nokia is reportedly working on a midrange smartphone with design cues reminiscent of partner Microsoft's Zune.
The Finnish handset maker plans to release next year a 4.3-inch Zune-like smartphone that will run Windows Phone 8, sources tell The Verge. The "Zeal" will appear in the middle of Nokia's new Lumia lineup and reportedly feature a 1.0GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and a microSD slot.
Besides a unibody design, it's unknown what else may hark back to Microsoft's ill-fated digital device.
CNET has contacted Nokia for comment and will update this report when we learn more.
Microsoft introduced the original Zune in 2006 at a time when competitor Apple was already on its fifth-generation iPod. Despite offering a handful of advantages over the iPod at the time -- such as an FM radio and a much larger screen that detailed album art -- Microsoft was unable to put a sizable dent in Apple's already dominant music player market share andlast October.
The Zeal, which is tentatively scheduled for release in early 2013, reportedly is unlikely to be part of a special Nokia Windows 8 event tomorrow. The handset maker is-- the Lumia 820 and 920 -- that will feature wireless charging.