brazil

The two Nokia Lumia 'phablet' Windows Phones are making their way to multiple markets and regions. The Finnish company continues to make official announcements of availability and pricing and Brazil in next in line to have said details revealed. Consumers in the region will have to wait until next month to get their hands on either Windows Phone.

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Windows Phone continues its ascent in the global smartphone race, at least according to shipment numbers released by IDC. While the increase in global market share continues for Microsoft’s mobile OS, perhaps the more interesting story is in individual markets.

IDC’s new numbers show that Windows Phone “posted the largest increase for both the quarter (46.7%) and the year (90.9%)” when compared to iOS and Android. That’s down from Q3, where shipments were pegged at 156%, but is line with year-end performance. The take away is that Microsoft has nearly doubled their growth.

Likewise, Nokia’s dominance of the Windows Phone market is confirmed again at that 90% number, which has had multiple corroborations at this point.

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British international bank, HSBC has released a Windows Phone app for the region of Brazil. The official solution brings mobile banking to the platform, offering customers new and more convenient ways to manage their money and accounts. If you reside in Brazil, hold an account with HSBC and are looking for an app for your Windows Phone, head on past the break for all the details.

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Brazilian Windows Phone fans got a treat yesterday when Nokia's top two smartphones, the Lumia 1020 and the Lumia 925, were released. The Lumia 1020, Nokia's flagship Windows Phone device, is available in black and white, with yellow on its way. It will run you a cool R$2,399 ($1101 USD). The lightweight aluminum Lumia 925, also available in black and white, comes in slightly less at R$1799 ($824 USD).

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While Square (squareup.com) remains the king of mobile transactions for small businesses, taxis and other services globally, the company has so far stayed away from Windows Phone, sticking with the iPhone and Android instead. File it under the old “not enough market share” problem that has plagued Microsoft.

Some of that is changing though as PagSeguro (Brazil) and Cube (getcube.com) have finally embraced Windows Phone, allowing small companies to use their preferred device when doing mobile credit card transactions.

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Shell in Brazil has selected Windows Phone as its choice of smartphone, offering hardware to the entire sales team of the company's distribution network in the region. Models ranging from the Lumia 520 all the way up to the Lumia 920, Shell isn't messing around when it comes to deploying advanced smartphones to its base of employees.

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The Windows Phone market in Brazil has grown by one device today. The Nokia Lumia 625 has become available through local Nokia Stores in Brazil for $1049 Reais (about $462 US) and will soon be available online through Nokia.

The Lumia 625 sports a 4.7" 800x480 IPS display that is protected by Gorilla Glass 2, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage space and MicroSD expandability. It has a 5MP rear camera and a front facing shooter.  The Lumia 625 comes loaded with Windows Phone 8, version 10328 (GDR2).

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It’s been a busy day for the Nokia Lumia 1020 as that device’s global rollout is now kicking off. Earlier today, Nokia announced the device’s availability for the UK at the end of September and now the third party retailers are climbing over each other to offer the best deal.

Phones4U joins Clove UK in bringing the 32 GB version of the 41 MP Lumia 1020 to the UK this month. The Phones4U deal though is especially enticing as the device will be free on some limited contracts for EE, Vodafone and Orange. In addition, when you preorder from Phones4U, you will get £295 worth of “bonus” features including a camera accessory pack, a 6 months Netflix subscription, and a free wireless speaker. The phone ships on September 25.

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Microsoft appears to be on an aggressive marketing path in Brazil when it comes to Windows Phone. Reports have come in stating that Redmond is throwing the Lumia 920 Windows Phone everywhere in the media. Taking full advantage of the array of content aired on television, Microsoft has snapped up multiple advertisement spots around football matches, local soap operas and more.

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When we reviewed indie brick breaking game Inflexiball a couple of months ago, our resident Brazilian reader Guilherme quickly noticed that the game was not available in the Brazilian Windows Phone Store. We gave publisher Renatus Media a shout to find out why the game skipped over good ol’ Brazil. No, it wasn’t due to riots or Angry Birds attacks!

As it turns out, Inflexiball didn’t release in Brazil for the same reason every other game passes over the South American nation: Brazil’s strict and somewhat confusing software ratings requirements. It just so happens that we published a guide to releasing software in Brazil a few months back. Renatus put it to use and Inflexiball has just launched there at last.

Brazilian Inflexiball fans aren’t the only ones with occasion to celebrate today. Renatus has also just released a new update to the game that doubles it length! Details and impressions after the break.

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For years, publishing games in the South American nation of Brazil was a laborious and mysterious process. While most countries allow developers to publish games with no additional certification beyond those of the platform holder, a few states like Brazil, South Korea, and Russia add on their own approval processes. As you’d expect, the challenge of navigating Brazil’s certifications without speaking Brazilian Portuguese has long prevented many games from releasing in that territory.

Thankfully, the Brazilian government revised their certification policies a few months ago. Now games that have an ESRB or PEGI certification can be submitted for approval through a fast and simple process. Should your game not have one of those certifications, you can alternately request the Brazilian DJCTQ certification.

Windows Phone Central has created a guide for both processes. Follow it, submit your games, and don’t miss out on all those potential Brazilian Windows Phone and Windows 8/RT customers!

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Nokia will be launching the Lumia 920 on February 14th, according to a report over on Gizmodo. The flagship Windows Phone will be available for R$1,999 (approximately $1,000) and in the black version. The pricing may appear to be slightly on the high side, but Nokia will attempt to dampen the blow with a USB portable DC-16 charger (not wireless) bundled with the first customers who pre-order the handset.

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Sure we love bringing you folks the latest on Windows Phone 8 or what executive is leaving Microsoft this week, but what many of you really want to know is what about the 7.8 upgrade?

While we still don’t know what it will contain, or rather if it will have more than just a new Start screen, we always knew it was destined to come after Windows Phone 8 comes out. Now, Windows Phone Brazil (official Twitter account), has responded to a question about that update to current Windows Phones.  The answer is that the 7.8 update is expected for Brazil in Q1 2013, which sounds about right to us (and is vague enough to leave some wiggle room).

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Brazilian Windows Phone owners have always complained about the lack of games (including Xbox Live titles) available for the platform, and rightly so. The Brazilian government has strict regulations that require video games (or any 'game') to be certified by its own ratings system, which has proven to heavily delay the release of said games to the Windows Phone Marketplace for owners in the region.

We previously looked at Microsoft adding a batch of 300 titles to increase available content on the Marketplace, but still numbers dwindled compared to other regions. Today, the Brazilian Ministry of Justice filed a statement that plans were in place for games to be certified by distribution companies themselves. 

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Boring phone with outrageous price?

We’ve reported on Samsung’s Omnia M phone in the past noting that their latest phone is a low-end, borderline Tango entry meant for new and developing markets. That translates into ho-hum specs (4” display, 1GHz CPU, 4GB storage, 5MP camera) and in theory, a low-entry price.

For whatever reason though, we’re not seeing Samsung place nice with local markets with their pricing of the Omnia M borderline unreasonably high for such a mediocre device...

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We've been informed the Lumia 900 Windows Phone is available to pre-order from Nokia in Brazil. The choice of black, cyan or white is present at a price tag of R$ 1.799,00 (about $880 / £560). The Lumia 900 is Nokia's flagship Windows Phone, sporting a 4.3" AMOLED display (with Clear Black technology), 1.4Ghz CPU, 8MP shooter (with FF camera) and 16GB storage.

No word has been given on the release date (though the website says "buy"), and Nokia's Lumia Momentum Map is of no help. We'll keep you guys posted once more information comes to light. Will you be ordering a shiny new Lumia 900?

Source: Nokia Store.br; thanks, @igor_limap, for the tip!

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According to a Brazilian Nokia blog, Microsoft has reportedly added over 300 games to the regional Marketplace boosting it from just over 90 games the other day. Most thoughts will now be: "wait, what?" and rightfully so. It would appear as though the Brazil Marketplace is restricted by tighter certification regulations than other markets. This requires a clear guide to be published on each title that is available on the Marketplace detailing censorship (much like PEGI) and approval by the Ministry of Justice.

Google with their Android Play market reportedly gets around this by hosting the content in the US and having it only accessible via web (and paid in US dollars).

We'd like to chime in with a quick search performed by us reveals that some of these newly added titles don't sport visible ratings -- The Impossible Game being a good example, though it's good to see more content being added for markets to download and enjoy. There's nothing worse than owning a smartphone, yet not being able to access the catalogue of content.

With the new additions, the Brazilian Windows Phone Marketplace now boasts over 7,000 titles which is a start.

Source: TouchNokia (translation); thanks Little Angry for the tip!

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To celebrate the launch of the Lumia 710 and Lumia 800 in Brazil this week, Nokia has teamed up with Microsoft to host the Smoked by Windows Phone challenge. Although the presentation is in native tongue, most of us can still follow the cheesy music and the humiliation of challengers.

It has been relatively quiet on the Brazilian front with Windows Phone, but both the Lumia 710 and 800 are now officially available for purchase. 

Via: Microsoft Insiders Brasil; thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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