Nokia: Windows Phone 7.8 for Lumia 800 and 900 not coming until “early 2013”

Last week it was reported that the long-awaited Windows Phone 7.8 update for older Windows Phone 7-sporting smartphones was starting a slow release at the end of the year, but contrary to these reports it’s looking like the not-quite Windows Phone 8 update will actually be released early in 2013.

Reports were abound that some Nokia Lumia 800 users were receiving the update on their handsets across Europe, with most assuming that this was the start of a slow roll out process of the software update.

However, Nokia’s spokespeople have been quick to clarify that the update to those handsets was an early test release to bring certain users’ pre-production handsets up to speed before the full update launch, which will take place early in 2013.

This was confirmed to Dutch site Tweaker, where Nokia stated that those lucky customers who did get the WP 7.8 update on Monday were just a select few pre-production handsets that were used before Windows Phone 7 was released officially.

However, the wait for the feature heavy update still isn’t that far away as Nokia is claiming that handsets such as the Lumia 800 and Lumia 900 will be getting their WP 7.8 updates early next year.

When Microsoft announced the newest form of its Windows Phone software (WP8), fans were excited about the new changes and features the update would bring to their existing smartphones, but soon after the announcement it was made known that older Windows Phone 7 (or 7.5 Mango) handsets would infact not be upgradeable to the newer OS.

Instead, Microsoft announced a half-way point consolation update called Windows Phone 7.8 which brings many of WP8’s features to older devices, such as customizable Live Tile sizes and the option to make Google the search engine in Internet Explorer.