Nokia, Huawei, Samsung and HTC developing next-gen Windows Phone 8 handsets

The next generation of Windows Phone 8 devices will be coming from Nokia, Huawei, Samsung and HTC, sitting on new Qualcomm hardware, Microsoft announced today at the Windows Phone Summit in San Francisco.

There has been a question over which manufacturers will continue to develop for Windows Phone following the big step made by Nokia to support the platform. We now have confirmation that we'll be seeing new devices, not only from the Lumia family, but also from others.

Currently there are no details about what to expect from the announced "hardware" partners, but with Windows Phone 8 ushering wider support for hardware, we can expect to see some exciting devices launched.

HTC was criticised for the resolution of its giant HTC Titan handset, but with Windows Phone 8 offering support for 1280 x 720 resolution displays, we could see Windows Phone evolutions of the HTC One X like our mock-up above, or Samsung's Galaxy S III, arriving on the Microsoft platform.

NFC support and support for multi-core chipsets will of course appeal to manufacturers using both on Android devices, but we're still left wondering who'll include microSD card support. We're backing Samsung on that one...

You can see what's new in Windows Phone 8 in our round-up. Sadly, if you're an existing Windows Phone user, you'll have to get a new handset before you can get all the benefits, as there is no upgrade path for existing devices.

UPDATE Following the details from Microsoft today, HTC has confirmed its love of Windows Phone, but also made clear that we'll have new hardware in with a 2012 launch date. "HTC is committed to Windows Phone more than ever and we are excited to be bringing new Windows Phone 8-enabled smartphones to customers later this year," said Peter Chou, CEO.

Returning the compliment, Terry Myerson, corporate VP of Windows Phone, said: "HTC is one of our closest partners and we share a common goal in driving people-centric innovation, which makes it easy to work together. We can’t wait to see how HTC brings Windows Phone 8 to its product portfolio."