Nokia delays launch of smartphone hybrid

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Nokia delays launch of smartphone hybrid

Follows Microsoft deal.

Nokia has delayed the launch of a large-screen mobile device, originally planned for late September, following a deal to sell its handset business and license patents to Microsoft.

Nokia had planned to announce new devices including a smartphone/ tablet hybrid with a screen larger than 5 inches, to revamp its lineup of Lumia smartphones which use Microsoft's Windows Phone software, according to sources.

The launch event, originally scheduled to take place in New York late this month, has been pushed back by several weeks. A new launch date is unknown and a Nokia spokesman declined to comment.

Nokia and Microsoft are still operating as separate companies as the 5.4 billion (A$7.7 billion) deal, which was announced on September 3, has not yet closed.

But Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who was hired from Microsoft in 2010 to turn the company around and is returning to his former company after the deal closes, has stepped aside to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

Under Elop, Nokia struggled to close the gap with Samsung and Apple in smartphones, although it has stepped up its pace of product launches in the past year. Market leader Samsung has led the way in smartphone tablet hybrids, proving wrong early critics who said they were too clunky.

Apple is the top seller of tablets.

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