China

Nokia has unveiled that pre-orders for the new Lumia 925 will kick off in China on June 17th, according to the official product page. Consumers will be able to pre-order the Windows Phone on JD.com. As previous rumours suggested, those who get in there first will also receive the limited edition Superman branded wireless charging pack, which includes the Superman Fatboy wireless charging pillow and the Man of Steel cover.

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Nokia's latest flagship Windows Phone, which joins the Lumia 920 and recently announced Verizon exclusive Lumia 928, has passed through certification in China. The Lumia 925 is a highly anticipated Lumia smartphone that introduces a new design with many elements that differentiates the device from the already established Lumia 920. With the Windows Phone heading to China as well as other markets, Nokia will be pushing the high-end mobile phones hard this year.

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Rumor: Nokia Lumia 925 to debut in China on June 15

The Nokia Lumia 925 was just announced a short while ago, and already Nokia is pushing the latest Windows Phone to the market. According to the official words in London, the Lumia 925 will be released first in China, UK, Germany, Italy and Spain. Now according to the latest rumor, the China part will be done in a matter of weeks, or June 15 to be precise.

Interesting though, the Chinese Lumia 925 is not for everyone. Nokia is to make a splash with Superman: Man of Steel limited edition, much like they did with the Lumia 900 and the Batman logo.  The initial batch will reportedly have exactly 925 units in all, each augmented with the iconic Superman logo, and there will be wireless charging back covers (Superman-ized, too) for purchase.

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Just ahead of Nokia's new device revaluation in London, which is supposed to spearhead a whole new wave of new Lumia phones and an exciting new year for the manufacturer, there comes rumor that Chinese Windows Phone OEMs will play their cards cautious for 2013.

Citing insider sources, Chinese tech site WPDang claims that Huawei will churn out one single new Windows Phone for the new year: the Ascend W2, which reportedly sports a 5" screen. Not much to look up to, just this one shot.

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Microsoft China posted an update on popular social network Sina weibo earlier today that Surface Pro, the Surface tablet/ultrabook that's built on Intel's desktop processor, will be available on 9:00pm, April 2nd (Beijing time). Microsoft announced on its official blog that Surface computers will be available in more markets in 2013, and China will be the first new market for Surface Pro.

The Chinese version of Surface Pro will be sold through Suning, the partner who was partly responsible for the lackluster sales of Surface RT in that region. But this time Microsoft isn't giving anyone "exclusive dealership" any more, for it has established its own Microsoft Store (online only) in China, and built an official store on Tmall.com, China's largest B2C e-commerce platform ever.

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Yesterday Nokia announced Lumia 520 and 720 for the Chinese market in a theme park in Beijing. We have reported the estimated date of availability as well as the retail price, so there's nothing really new here. One little thing about the announcement caught our attention: Lumia 720, the Lumia 720T customized for China Mobile's TD-SCDMA network, will come with a CMMB mobile TV module.

China Multimedia Mobile Broadcasting (CMMB) is a mobile television standard, mostly supported by China Mobile as a "killer feature" that defines the cellular carrier from its competitors. A phone with built-in CMMB reception module could snatch broadcasted TV programs over the air, without generating any data fee. Nokia has done various kinds of localization to adap to local markets. But adding a new hardware module to an existing phone model just for one carrier? I reckon that's something never happened before.

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As one of the emerging markets, and a terribly big one for that matter, China just can't be overlooked on Nokia's strategic roadmap, especially the entry and middle segments of the market. Now the company is busy preparing for the release of both Lumia 520 and Lumia 720 in China.

The entry-level Lumia 520 will be available "by the end of March", which translates into some time close to NOW. The retail price is about CNY 1,299 (US$ 210), which would be cheaper than the HKD 1,788 (US$ 231) standard in Hong Kong.

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Since launched, the Surface RT tablet has always been sold only through two channels in China: Microsoft's freshly established online store, and Suning (a chain store for electronics, much like Best Buy). Now Microsoft is looking into extending the Surface RT distribution network, as the exclusive dealership with Suning expired in February 2013.

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With Nokia making a large deal to sell numerous Lumia Windows Phones on China Mobile, starting with the Lumia 920 and including the popular Lumia 620, speculation and curiosity about sales numbers have piqued interest from observers.

This morning, a questionable story on WinP.cn started to make the rounds complete with photos, that reportedly showed the Nokia team “celebrating 2 million sales (or activations)” in that massive country. We’ve been in indirect contact with Nokia China and are hearing that the story is in fact not accurate.

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The Chinese side of the Windows Phone Store has had a bumpy time lately. For the last a few days, Chinese users have been experiencing problems when trying to purchase apps. Many found it impossible to download any paid app; you go through the payment process only to get an error message. The money gets accepted by the Windows Phone Store well enough, but the app license never comes. Some fairly persistent folks have tried repeatedly, paying $3 for Angry Bird Seasons in three shots. Yet they still failed to get the app at the end of the day.

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Samsung ATIV S is one curious case.

It was the first ever Windows Phone 8 device ever shown to the consumers, yet probably the last one to get onto the shelves. Today, even the extremely late-coming Huawei Ascend W1 has probably better availability than ATIV S. According to the latest rumor, the mysterious will land in China on March 8. However, the final retail price is said to be "undecided yet".

Apparently Samsung is trying to pitch the ATIV S against HTC 8X and Lumia 920, and looking for more leverage on pricing.

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As we've mentioned before, the People Hub has always been a pain for Chinese Windows Phone devices, because what's called "People Hub" in the Chinese version of the OS simply doesn't have any social functions. To put it mildly, the module has been nothing but an unnecessarily complicated phone book. The reason for this is quite simple: Microsoft yanked out all the social services blocked by China's national Great Firewall (Twitter, Facebook), and removed the ones that practically have no user at all in China (LinkedIn), without giving any replacements. Finally this is going to change, today.

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Even though Microsoft wasn’t exhibiting at CES this year, doesn’t mean they haven’t been present. From Steven Ballmer taking to the stage at the Qualcomm keynote to some surprise Xbox 360 demos, it’s been busy.

The folks at Computer World caught up with Greg Sullivan. senior product manager for Windows Phone. Seems Greg was eager to share the good news about Windows Phone sales in China and also led some to speculate on a Windows Phone in the pipeline that uses an Intel CPU.

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Microsoft has previously confirmed it was looking to introduce Sina Weibo connectivity to China for use with its platforms. The micro-blogging service is a must-have for the array of products the company now has on offer. With popular social networks already available through Microsoft Accounts, it's only right that Chinese consumers be able to achieve the same level of integration.

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As Chinese stores are beginning to get the new generation of Lumia devices in tiny, tiny trickles, consumers who are lucky enough to secure a phone or two in the extremely limited supply have found a pleasant surprise: the phones are coming with a much called for feature, which is call & SMS blocker.

The stealing and selling of private information has always been a big problem in China. It's developed into a full fledged industry. Occasionally even employees of ISPs, mobile carriers and banks are caught selling their customer information in bulks. What follows immediately is spamming, quite precisely targeted, coming through all sorts of channels in bulks.

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