Update: Nokia has denied the Lumia 800 will not be available SIM-free. Read more details here. Original story follow.
Bad news Nokia fans -- the Nokia Lumia 800 SIM-free model has been held back until January next year.
That means you'll need to buy into a contract if you want to get your hands on Nokia's first Windows Phone device this side of Christmas. The news comes via online retailer Clove, which confirmed on its blog that the Lumia 800 wouldn't be arriving SIM-free in the UK until 2012.
It's going to be available exclusively on contracts from 16 November, but we would recommend holding off if you can possibly bear it -- signing up to a brutally long contract is usually much more expensive in the long run than buying outright.
The Nokia Lumia 800 is a tasty bit of hardware, with a 1.4GHz processor and an 8-megapixel camera. The real headline feature however is that it's running Windows Phone, Microsoft's trendy alternative operating system.
Windows Phone wants to beat Apple's iOS and Google's Android systems, both of which are hugely popular. We like Windows Phone a lot, and the hope is that with Nokia's recognisable name and hardware heritage it can bump Microsoft's OS into the mainstream.
This delay could damage those lofty aspirations -- generally speaking people aren't feeling too flush post-Christmas, and will be much less inclined to drop hundreds of pounds on a fancypants smart phone.
What do you think? Will the wait until January for SIM-free phones hurt the Lumia 800's chances? Let us know down in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.