China


Mr. Ren Weiguang on Windows Phone 7.5 Chinese launch event. Image credit to evolife.cn

Chinese site WPDang managed to interview Mr. Ren Weiguang, the president of HTC China, after the manufacturer's September 19th announcing of the very colorful Windows Phone 8X and 8S range. The interview reveals what's probably mixed news about HTC's products.

In summary, Mr. Ren told the journalist the following:

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It looks like Nokia is still pushing ahead with some low-end phones to compete with the likes of Android, especially in China.

News has come forward this morning that a new device caledl ‘Lumia 510’ has just passed certification in China. The specs aren’t anything eye catching for obvious reasons but it should sell well if priced right:

  • 4 "LCD screen, 5MP
  • 120.7 x 64.9 x 11.51 (mm), 129 (g)
  • GSM-WCDMA-HSPA
  • 800MHz MSM7227A + 256MB RAM + Windows Phone 7.5/7.8

No word on exact release date though we’re sure more information will come forward shortly. What’s interesting is that the device is running Windows Phone 7.5 and will get the 7.8 upgrade but alas, no Windows Phone 8.

Source: Tieba Badu; Thanks, Jack Lo, for the link and images!

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The Chinese smartphone market has been growing at a shocking speed, overtaking almost every other country so far. However, the country has traditionally been very low in the gadget launching echelon.

Even Apple, who is making a very large share of its profit from China these days, has been putting the country in the 2nd or 3rd batch. Microsoft and its Windows Phone OEMs have been doing worse. Windows Phone 7 first launced in Europe back in October 2010, in the US in November 2012, and in China... March 2012.

This is about to change, says Chinese tech site WPDang. Windows Phone 8 is said to be launched in China as soon as the 3rd week of December, this year. Only one month after the US. A thousand times better than last time.

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Now supporting Japan, China and Australia

One of our top apps for Windows Phone is definitely Amazon Mobile because we’re Prime junkies, forever ordering things online for that sweet, sweet next-day delivery.

But not everyone can share our joy, which is why we’re always glad to see Amazon update their app to support more countries. Such is the case with version 1.9 that just went live today on the Marketplace.

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Till this day, how big exactly is the Windows Phone ecosystem is largely a myth. Microsoft is keeping crucial figures all to itself. Over time, many tried to measure the ecosystem with various ways, such as the active users of the Windows Phone Facebook client.

Now WPDang and OpenXLive have decided to do it a bit more scientifically: with consolidated server data of 112 apps and games. Sadly the report only covers the Chinese market, because the majority of these data source apps either make sense only to Chinese users, or are well ranked only in the Chinese Marketplace...

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China to finally get Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone?

China is not the most gamer-friendly place on this planet. Once upon a time, all was well and merry. But right upon entering the 21st century, some looney in the Chinese government suddenly decided video games are somehow harmful to the country, and made a law which banned the sales of all gaming consoles.

Sony took the blow right in the crown jewels. The game giant (ruler of the entire console gaming industry back then) prepared a whole batch of “specifically for China” Playstation 2 consoles, and opened up for pre-orders. The new law went live immediately after the Chinese Playstation 2 launch, sinking Sony’s new ship in one elegant hit.

According to urban legends and mythologies, some units were shipped to lucky Chinese gamers. But alas, I have to personally witness a genuine Chinese Playstation 2 yet.

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What Nokia phone is this?

File this under rumor but likely something but the folks at WPDang caught some images off of a Sina Weibo stream that clearly reveal some type of new Nokia prototype phone. For those who don’t know, Sina Weibo is sort of like Twitter in China. The images show what look to be a Lumia-type device running either Windows Phone 7.8 or 8.0. (We were also sent the images by a reader of this site, talan1314)

Not much was revealed about the phone and the images were quickly deleted off of the user’s stream. No specifications were gathered either though it does sport the old Windows flag which may or may not mean something.

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According to WPDang sources, Chinese handset maker Oppo is set to build Windows Phone 8 hardware. Founded in 2004, Oppo is a relatively new player to the mobile phone industry with a history of different electronic products, including media players. WPDang reports that the Chinese manufacturer could begin releasing new Windows Phones in 2013. Being less internationally known than both Huawei and ZTE, Oppo certainly can produce aesthetically pleasing hardware.

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The official MSN Messenger app is Chinese-only

In what is an unusual surprise for users on Windows Phone, Microsoft (MSN China) has released an official standalone MSN Messenger app for Windows Phone.

The app is now available in the Marketplace and it seems to have world-wide availability although you’ll be hard pressed to read it since there is no language-localization to be found.

The app is actually very well done—it’s fast and fluid and behaves like how you would expect. You can set your away messages, chat with others and login from different accounts. And really, that’s the big deal here—as many users do have multiple Messenger aliases which they want to use.

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While Samsung has not exactly wowed many with the Omnia M announcement a few weeks ago, the low-end Tango phone is important for the company and the platform as it allows them to compete with Android. Such is the reason why their launching of the device China Mobile and China Unicom is quite inspiring (China Telecom is supposed to get one too, but it was not yet announced).

The phones are slightly different due to the radio difference and they also vary on memory, with the Unicom version have 8GB of storage while Mobile gets 4GB. Other than that we're talking about 1GHz CPUs, 4" 800x480, 5MP rear and 0.3MP front facing cameras and everything else we expect from a Windows Phone these days. Interestingly, these are not technically Tango phones as they have 384MB of available RAM though they will run the Tango OS.

No pricing or release dates were revealed by either carrier, which is unfortunate. It should be interesting to see how Samsung prices their device against the even more low-end Nokia Lumia 610.

Source: MyDrivers; via Unwired View

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WPDang has reported that the Lumia 900 is set to be released in China on June 16th, which will please those who skipped past the 800c launch to see when the manufacturer was looking to release its more advance brother. The flagship Nokia Windows Phone will be priced to match the iPhone, which is currently around 4,988 CNY (about $780).

While the Windows Phone has been unofficially available since its launch in the U.S., this version will be stripped of certain services and functionality (Xbox LIVE, etc.) Priced at 4,688 CNY (about $730), the fairly expensive Lumia 900 packs a 4.3" display, 8MP rear shooter (with FF camera), 512MB RAM and 16GB storage.

Source: WPDang; via: WPSauce

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We're getting a few reports, including one over at tech site cnBeta.com that the Windows Phone Marketplace is undergoing a lengthy blackout. Specifically when users try to download an app, the progress bar gets about half way (full downloaded) and then an "attention required" message pops up with an error 805a01f8.

What's perhaps worse is these errors have been going on for nearly 20 hours now, making this a significant down-time for many new Windows Phone users in China.

The error users are seeing in China right now when they attempt an app download

Word from cnBeta is that there is no official comment from Microsoft China on the matter and users are basically on their own until the system is fixed, leaving many users disgruntled and frustrated. 

Companies like Nokia and HTC have both recently made a large push into China signaling a successful attempt at selling Microsoft's OS to new customers, however such a setback with the Marketplace could create some negative blow-back from early adoptees. 

If you're in China and experiencing these problems or if they have resolved themselves, let us know in comments.

Source: cnBeta.com; Thanks, x. wang., for the tip

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ZTE is slowly growing to be an important partner with Microsoft and Windows Phone as they're one of the largest OEMs in the world (that you never heard of). Their "Tania" has been around for some time now but it surprisingly hasn't launched yet in China, which received its big Windows Phone push last month with Nokia and HTC leading the way.

Now it looks like the device will finally be out within days though no specific carrier has been announced. According to Wei Xiaodong, ZTE sales director, the phone will be released by the end of this month and will get a CPU bump from 1GHz to 1.4Ghz--a trend we're seeing with the more premium Windows Phones like the 710 and Focus 2. Everything else will stay the same though: 4.3" screen, 4GB storage, 512MB RAM and a 5MP camera. Of course the OS is expected to be "Tango" for the Chinese localization.

We played with the Tania back at CES and actually like the little guy. While perhaps not amazing by certain standards, for a premium Windows Phone it's actually well done. ZTE has also announced plans to make a push here in the United States and it will be curious to see how that pans out.

See our hands-on video on the ZTE Tania from CES 2012 here.

Source: CNMO; via Unwired View

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Nokia is moving closer to its China launch of the Lumia 900, according to dates reported by Chinese news website Sina Tech. The Lumia 900 was approved for use on GSM and WCDMA networks by State Radio Regulation Committee (SRRC) on April 18, and the website is pointing to a June release for the Windows Phone. The younger brother, the Lumia 800c, was launched in the country back in March.

AT&T has been witnessing expectation surpassing results with the 4G version of Nokia's flagship Windows Phone since its launch earlier this year. Let's not forget the news of the platform market share overtaking the iPhone in China, which should continue to capture more of the market with the introduction of this high-end device. The Lumia 900 sports a 4.3" ClearBlack AMOLED display, 1.4GHz chip, 512MB RAM, and 16GB of storage.

Source: Sina Tech, The Next Web

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All eyes were on Microsoft's rather important launch of Windows Phone in China earlier this year. Nokia followed up with the Lumia 800c, released on China Telecom. According to Michel van der Bel, COO of Greater China Region at Microsoft, the company has achieved 7% marketshare in the country, overtaking the iPhone (sitting at just 6%).

Before you think "well 7% isn't something to get excited about", remember that the platform has only officially been available for just under two months. Windows Phone has captured 7% of the Chinese smartphone market in just 60 days, and the campaign has only just begun. This kind of growth is a struggling goal for the platform in other markets, so it's positive to see Chinese consumers choosing the Windows Phone experience. Plus, it's always a great headline when Windows Phone beats the popular iPhone.

With manufacturers also on-board and attacking supported countries, Windows Phone should look to repeat the success story currently being written in China, especially with Nokia powering through marketing budgets. There's still much more to do in China though, as van der Bel went on to admit the company understands the difficult task ahead and has deployed a 2,500 head strong team in its R&D department to focus on the Asian market.

Source: Emerce.nl via: Neowin

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China is a big, vast country ripe for the smartphone market with its growing economy and access to new technology. So it's with keen interest that we focus on how well Windows Phone performs there over the next few months.

According to some leaked internal roadmaps for China Telecom, the nation's 3rd largest carrier, Windows Phone is a big hit with the folks who oversee operations. Reportedly they are planning on getting the Nokia Lumia 719c as well as the Samsung Minuet sometime this summer, augmenting the Lumia 610c and 800c which are already on sale.

For those who don't remember, the Lumia 719c is a device that so far has not yet been announced and bares a slight resemblance to the Lumia 710. Instead of physical keys though the 719c has capacitive buttons and what looks to be the same 3.7" screen and 5MP camera. Likewise, the Samsung Minuet is thought to be a variant of the recently announced Omnia M line, making both of these devices low to mid range offerings.

Finally, though the ZTE Mimosa (aka Orbit) is not listed on the roadmap it reportedly is still planned and should be released soon as well.

Source: WPDang (Translated); via Windows Phone Daily

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An unknown Samsung Windows Phone (SCH-S759) has been WiFi and Bluetooth certified. The device is reported to be CDMA compatible, which leads us to believe this smartphone could be a version of the recently announced Omnia M. Unfortunately, not much else is known about the handset with no other detail or specifications being listed, apart from a spotted agent string - Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows Phone OS 7.5; Trident/5.0; IEMobile/9.0; SAMSUNG; SCH-S759.

With the release of the Focus 2 and Omnia M, one could hope that Samsung is rising to the bar set by Nokia within the Windows Phone market. It's rumoured that this Samsung Windows Phone is set to head for China, probably to combat Nokia and the Lumia 800c, unless Sprint or Verizon is secretly set to unveil a device? We look forward to seeing some more details come to light in the near future, so stay tuned.

via: Unwired View, Blog of Mobile

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The handset maker Huawei, or "Who are we?" - no one seems to know when it comes to Windows Phone, was supposed to be revealing new Windows Phones for China with Microsoft's recent Windows Phone launch in the country, according to a report by Digitimes. Unfortunately this fruit never ripened and we were left wandering whether or not the company had dropped support for the platform.

Fast-forward a few months and WPDang is now attempting to shed some light on the situation of the OEM. According to the site's sources, Huawei has been distracted by their Android (go figure) expansion programme and has either had little motivation or man power to push forward with Windows Phone development. This would explain why they've been a no-show with the China platform launch.

Not all is doom and gloom though, as the Chinese website also reports that the manufacturer has since turned things around and now sports a Windows Phone development team consisting of over 70 engineers. Huawei is also allegedly working closely with Microsoft in the states that puts the manufacturer aiming for Windows Phone 8. But if "Apollo" wasn't enough, WPDang also highlights the possible Windows 8 tablet (with LTE support) which will surely please those Lumia 900 / TITAN II speed freaks.

Should this information hold out to be reality, and Huawei is actively developing Windows Phone 8 handsets / Windows 8 tablets, it'll be interesting to see the next step from the OEM.

Source: WPDang, via: WPSauce

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Look what just popped up on Nokia's Care Suite servers. Why it's Windows Phone 7.5 Consumer Release (CR) 3 aka "Tango" for the Nokia Lumia 710 in China. Specifically the ROM build is 1600.3029.8773.12111 where the "8773" denotes the OS version and the "12111" is the firmware build.

Windows Phone OS 8773 is the "gold" version of Tango which adds support for 256 MB devices, MMS enhancements and other smaller, under the hood changes. A lot of phones today are sporting Mango CR1 (8107) or Mango CR2 (8112) and AT&T is expected to rollout CR3 (8773+) for its devices in the future.

With the addition of this ROM on Nokia's servers it's a safe bet that those with a Lumia 710 in China will be seeing an update notification from Zune Desktop in the next few days.

Of course the big question is can you flash this to your Lumia 710 if you're using Nokia Care Suite (much like the 8107 update)? Technically, yes, you can but seeing as this is a ROM for China we're not too sure on what language packs are on board. It's very likely English is there but if you'll be taking a risk as downgrading a ROM can be difficult.

We'll keep an ear out if this ROM starts to pushed out to user or if you're a risk-taker, whether you can flash it yourself (and void your warranty).

Thanks, @Arktronic, for the tip

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