Michael Halbherr, Executive Vice President for Location аnԁ Commerce, stated that the release of Microsoft's Apollo on Windows Phone will be sometime between Q2 and Q3 in 2012. Along with revealing a proposed release date, Halbherr also stated that Apollo will be a "very different game" when compared to Windows Phone Mango, which alludes to the fact that this release will be very well aligned with Windows 8.
Back in June, a few Apollo features were leaked; Localization, an Inspiration Engine, One handed input, Next-gen soft keyboard, and Voice Typing but this is all still speculation. While there is no concrete list of features included in Microsoft's Apollo on Windows Phone, Halbherr mentioned that he was working on convincing Microsoft to include Near Field Communications (NFC) and a "positioning network" which would align Windows Phone to work better with Navteq, Nokia's navigation and location-based service solution. Nokia is getting a better hold on the Windows Phone market and is more tightly knitted with Microsoft's Windows Phone teams, which will definitely help with deeper integration of proprietary applications on Nokia Windows Phones. In an interview with Tech Radar, Niklas Savander, Executive VP of Markets for Nokia, stated "When you look within the Windows Phone ecosystem and compare how the Lumia performs, there we have a contractual agreement with Microsoft for a certain amount of engineering which we can use for differentiation." Nokia shied away from making their Lumia line of phones significantly different from other Windows Phones for fears of fragmenting the developer ecosystem. We will really see the differentiation Nokia brings to the Windows Phone market when Apollo is released.