Nokia is hoping to lure customers away from Apple's upcoming iPhone by unveiling its first Windows Phone 8 handset before the Cupertino company's rumored September 12 event. According to a Bloomberg report, the Finnish firm will announce the device in early September at Nokia World… but you won't be able to buy it until later this year.

Nokia plans to announce Windows Phone 8-based handsets as early as next month at its Nokia World event — ahead of an expected Sept. 12 unveiling of the next version of the iPhone — and have them for sale before the year-end holiday shopping season, said a person with knowledge of the matter, asking not to be identified because the plan isn't public.

If this is indeed Nokia's plan, that lengthy wait could well be the deal-breaker for some consumers. Although Nokia may beat Apple to an unveiling, Apple's new iPhone is expected to launch just a week after its September 12 event — possibly months before Nokia's new Windows Phone 8 device begins shipping.

Nokia has declined to comment on this rumor, but this is the second time we've heard whispers of a Windows Phone 8 device at Nokia World. In late July, Chinese site WPDang reported that the company will unveil two new handsets next month — named the Lumia 910 and the Lumia 920. The report also claimed that Microsoft would be at the event to announce more Windows Phone 8 features.

While we know very little about the handset(s) at this point, the Financial Times reported last month that Nokia could offer exclusivity to some European carriers in a bid to "recreate the excitement around Apple's exclusive launch of the original iPhone in 2007." The company hopes that by offering operators a share of its revenue, they are more likely to push its new device over rival smartphones.

[via Bloomberg]