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Nokia has announced the release dates for the Lumia 710 and 800 in Vietnam. Both handsets will go on sale and will be available on April 9th, for 6,299,000 VND and 10,599,000 VND respectively. Nokia Vietnam has listed 21 retailers to stock and ship the two Windows Phones, and all stores will be decorated in Lumia promotion material.

Unfortunately, the Vietnamese keyboard and language aren't supported by the platform, but are on the horizon (as well as Local Scout, Maps, etc.). Nokia has attempted to soften this blow by releasing Viet Keyboard, an app which provides a convenient text input solution for the Vietnamese language. 

Users are able to type as they would normally in the app and then copy the text to the clipboard, which can then be subsequently pasted elsewhere on the smartphone. Viet Keyboard will be especially useful for common tasks such as SMS, email social network posting, and web browsing.

You can download Viet Keyboard from the Marketplace (Lumia restricted). Source: Mainguyen; thanks Hoang for the tip!

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The Lumia 900 will be available on Rogers from $99.99 with an attached plan or $524.99 as an outright purchase, according to pricing revealed by MobileSyrup. The Lumia 900 was previously rumoured to be heading for the Canadian carrier in May. 

Run through of the Lumia 900 expected pricing on Rogers:

  • 3-year contract price: $99.99
  • 2-year contract price: $424.99
  • 1-year contract price: $474.99
  • No-term contract price: $524.99

No date has yet been announced but MobileSyrup is looking at April 10th.

Source: MobileSyrup; thanks Donny for the heads up!

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Nokia has been busy in Australia, and that's an observation that many residing down under wouldn't believe they'd ever witness hearing / reading when it comes to Windows Phone. The manufacturer revealed three Lumia Live events that took place across the country in three different locations - Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne.

We previously looked at footage and shots of the Lumia 800 launch party in Sydney earlier last month, and now Techin5 has published coverage from the Melbourne event. What was it all about? Keeping to the same theme which we witnessed in Sydney, the event in Federation Square, Melbourne sported a sizeable screen, Xbox Kinect and mat to create an immersive augmented reality experience for the public to enjoy.

Techin5 notes that while large amounts of interest was displayed by the public on such a fine day, there were multiple periods where it was relatively baron. On a positive note, crowd numbers peaked in the hundreds to witness action on the big screen. A Nokia executive confirmed that the large Nokia Lumia 800 displays spotted in Sydney will be heading to Melbourne in May. What's probably more interesting is the executive also affirmed the Lumia 900 was currently in testing (which is also already available to pre-order).

Check out some more photos after the break. Source: Techin5

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We knew Nokia wasn't going to just sit by and let the AT&T Lumia 900 launch without an "event" to go with it. Low and behold, that whole countdown on the SmartphoneBetatest.com site was counting down to this very day.

The launch party is happening in New York City, specifically Times Square at 7 pm and is open to the public. There will be a live performance from....someone and we're hoping for something awesome visually (Lasers? Can we get some lasers?).

Of course being that we're in New York City, heck we're not too far from Times Square right now, we should be able to be there to cover the event with video, photos and a full report.

Stay tuned...

Source: Twitter

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AT&T has revealed that Lumia 900 marketing plans (combined with Nokia and Microsoft) will best any product they've launched before - including the famous iPhone. In an interview with CNET, AT&T device head Jeff Bradley, said that it'll be a notch up on anything the company has attempted previously.  We met with AT&T reps early today and have no doubt that AT&T's efforts to market the new Windows Phones should be a full court press.

But should we be surprised? The Lumia 900 on AT&T is Microsoft's (and Nokia's) best chance of survival in the competitive mobile market. Windows Phone has been performing arguably well with Nokia marketing the 710 and 800 on a global scale, but the Lumia 900 is the big gun for the U.S.

We previously covered how the Lumia 900 will be given "hero status" in the AT&T mobile arsenal. So how will they go about it? How will the stores convince people that Windows Phone is a solid choice against the iPhone and Android?  AT&T has told us that we can expect to see banners in windows of AT&T stores and Windows Phone walls featuring the TITAN II and Lumia 900.  In a nutshell, we were told AT&T stores are going to look like Nokia stores.

As well as the promotional material, we can confirm that we're likely to see demonstration tables, accessories (including skins, Monster Headsets, third-party cases, screen protectors, and more) and -of course- salestaff training. Nokia will be training employees to compliment the web training they'll receive from AT&T. This will hopefully result in more platform awareness internally as well as increasing the Windows Phone recommendation chance rate to customers.

Let's see what April 8th brings us, I would recommend we strap ourselves in. Then again, it could be a belly flop. Fingers crossed that it wont be and AT&T / Nokia / Microsoft get this right.

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China Telecom and Nokia have launched the first CDMA Windows Phone in China, the Lumia 800c. Following the official launch of the Windows Phone platform itself earlier this month, the 800c will likely be accompanied by an expensive marketing campaign to really provide the device with some steroids in able to throw a heavy punch at competitors.

Stephen Elop explained the company's excitement:

"We're excited to introduce our first Lumia smartphone, the Nokia 800C, to this important market with our exclusive launch partner, China Telecom. Working closely together, we've created a compelling, locally relevant experience on the Nokia 800C especially tailored for people in China."

Wan Xiaochu, Chariman of China Telecom, also expressed enthusiasm:

"This grand launch for China's first CDMA Windows Phone represents our optimism and excitement for the future of Windows Phone and Nokia Lumia in China."

The manufacturer and carrier aren't halting at just the Lumia 800c, as there are plans to introduce the low budget Lumia 610 (also in a CDMA variant) to China Telecom's customer base in Q2 2012. The Lumia "610c" (following the 800c with regards to branding) will be targeting younger audiences - something Nokia intends to achieve on a global scale to rejuvenate the company brand.

The Lumia 800c is available in both black and cyan colouring, and sports a 3.7" AMOLED ClearBlack display, 1.4Ghz processor, 8MP rear-camera (with Carl Ziess optics), and 16GB storage. Consumers who make the purchase will also be able to enjoy the experience with exclusive Nokia apps.

Nokia Maps will be available, with local content support from Fantong, Jiepang, Ctrip, Qunar and Soufun. Nokia Drive is also present for the Chinese market and will sport the same turn-by-turn navigation enjoyed by those in other supported countries. Finally we have Nokia Music, but the service comes limited with 12 months worth of free music, after which it's unclear whether consumers will have to pay a fee to continue using the streaming service.

So what's next on the cards for Nokia and China Telecom now the handset has been officially launched? The two companies are collaborating on a number of plans, including one to feature the Lumia 800c prominently in Tianyi FlyYoung shops, a youth-centred sub-brand of the carrier. Another plan is to bring integrated China Telecom services right to the Lumia 800c home screen, including music, games, videos and integrated reading apps.

Those who purchase the Lumia 800c will be eligible for exclusive apps, including magazines from Trends, and special offers for the free download of popular titles on the Marketplace - 100,000 free downloads of Fuit Ninja and Plants vs Zombies. Speaking of Trends, the provider of fashion magazine apps, the company will be providing Lumia owners with free access to "For Him Magazine" (FHM), Harper's Bazaar and Esquire magazines in the Marketplace.

Microsoft will also be playing a part with the Be Top programme, which is designed to encourage and support developers in creating apps in China. As for availability of the Lumia 800c, the smartphone will be available for purchase through Tianyi FlyYoung shops (China Telecom), Nokia brand stores, China's top chain electronics stores including Suning, Gome, Funtalk, D.Phone, and CentreYou, as well as regional channels and online shops such as 189.cn and hicdma.com. The Windows Phone is sold without contract for 3599 RMB ($570).

Check out some more photos after the break (below photo credit: @Chassit). Source: Nokia

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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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To celebrate the launch of the Lumia 800 in Denmark, Nokia and carrier Telia have teamed up to pull off an interesting stunt - the "Human Keyboard". We've previously seen the scale of the country's Lumia handset launch with an event being held in Copenhagen back in January, but it's good to see carrier support added in.

The Human Keyboard features a keyboard mat laid out on the pavement in front a store. We then have five musicians stood in the store window who play corresponding music notes with instruments in the attempt to match the members of public who step on the mat.

Of course, you'd have to have some fun and try to trick the musicians, which is exactly what we see in the above video. You can purchase the Lumia 800 in cyan at the Telia online store.

Source: YouTube; thanks Ellis for the tip!

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We've heard numerous times that the Nokia Lumia 900 will be a "hero" device for AT&T, a term that is unfamiliar for many who are not in the business of smartphones. Here, the usage refers to AT&T promoting the Lumia 900 on the level of the Apple iPhone meaning we should expect a very intensive media campaign for the flagship Nokia device and it taking center stage on one of the largest carriers in the US.

One way to do that is to put the phone in the hands of those on the front lines -- the sales reps at the AT&T stores. More information has rolled in over the last few hours since we broke the April 9th street date for the 900. First, we know that the phones started arriving at AT&T stores over the last two days and that employee training on the Windows Phone OS (and this specific hardware) will take place on March 26th, April 6th and 7th at those outlets.

Next is the big news: AT&T has designated the Nokia Lumia 900 for 'Company Use' meaning all Front Seller employees are eligible to receive the phone at no cost. The trade off is though is that employees have to turn in their current 'Company Use' phones, namely the iPhone and certain Android devices.

You read that right: Nokia is paying, we hear up to $25 million, for AT&T employees to exclusively use the Lumia 900 instead of the iPhone and Android. Nokia is expecting more than 80% of employees to be using their flagship Windows Phone for participation in the CU program (employees can opt to use any phone they want at a discount, but CU phones are provided for free), which should go a long way in convincing those employees the merits of the OS, resulting in positive word of mouth and high sales.

So why is AT&T so keen on promoting Windows Phone, specifically the Nokia Lumia 900? Sure, there is money involved but in addition but we're told that the feeling at AT&T is that the company is trying to get away from being "the iPhone carrier" and are looking to differentiate their lineup from their competition. The Lumia 900 is a device they can get behind to do that -- not just because of the financial incentive, but because this phone represents a real chance for the fledgling OS to shine. That should sit well with many of you who are worried about the fate of Microsoft's mobile OS.

Oh and before we close out, we're also told that the HTC TITAN and Samsung Focus S are to be put on the End of Life (EOL) list, meaning their future availability will be phased out from current inventory without being replenished. (Well, there had to be some bad news, right?)

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Today is March 21st which means Microsoft took the big step in growing the Windows Phone ecosystem by releasing the mobile OS in mainland China.

Launching on numerous devices, including the HTC Triumph (aka TITAN), the Nokia Lumia 800c and offerings from ZTE (including the Orbit/Mimosa), Microsoft looks to regain some ground in the smartphone war by offering a variety of hardware running the refresh of Windows Phone 7.5 "Tango" (build 8773) in one of the largest emerging markets in the world.

The press conference was held in Beijing in a makeshift warehouse with HTC, Nokia, ZTE, Qualcomm and Samsung all in attendance. In addition, Simon Leung Corporate Vice President, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft Greater China Region was also there to introduce the operating system to the audience. The press conference involved a demonstration of the OS, new hardware, Skydrive, Office as well as mention the more than 2,000 Chinese applications already in the Marketplace, including 50 top tier apps.

Overall, it looks to have been a successful launch though of course, it remains to be seen how keen on Windows Phone China is in the next few months as these devices go on sale around the massive country.

See more photos and coverage at WinP.cn; Thanks, Lucas, for the tip!

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A video capture of the augmented reality event in Sydney has been uploaded to YouTube showing the stunt in action with a member of the public having a go. The dance-off was with Australia’s Got Talent and now local recording star Timomatic, who was also present at the event for signing and promoting the event.

As well as this event, there are two more lined up this month in Brisbane and Melbourne so be sure to head on down.

Source: YouTube

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Following on from the gradual increase in advertising, Nokia has now done something special in Chile to celebrate the launch of the Lumia Windows Phones - there really doesn't appear to be a limit on marketing / promotional expenditure for the manufacturer. Much like we saw in London late last year, a 3D show was put on for attendees in the boulevard of Parque Arauco in Santiago.

Be sure to check out the video, it really is something else. We'll look to see more information being made available about both the 710 and 800 in Chile in the near future.

Source: YouTube, via: WMPU

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With the launch of the 800, we've been anticipating Nokia's upcoming marketing strategy in Australia with what the manufacturer can do to maintain the standards of promotion we've witnessed in other countries (think back to London with Deadmau5). With the recent announcement that will see Nokia holding Lumia "Live events" in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney this month, we now have more details surrounding the first one on the calendar - Sydney.

As one can probably guess from the above photo, the live event in Sydney sports Nokia's largest augmented reality experience. The public can step up on the Nokia mat to witness an interactive experience powered by an Xbox and Kinect. The video from the console is displayed on a massive 12 metre screen for everyone to enjoy.

Should you choose the Nokia Music tile, you'll be able to compete with Australia’s Got Talent and now local recording star Timomatic in a dance-off. But if that's not your cup of tea, and you're feeling slightly adventurous, then the Nokia Drive tile will produce a random character next to you on-screen; be it an Angry Bird or kangaroo.

Timomatic said the following when asked about his experience working with Nokia on this stunt:

"I was pumped about working with Nokia on this project.  I loved the idea of combining cutting-edge technology like Augmented Reality with my passion for music and dance. The footage was filmed in a studio and we experimented with a range of dance moves, both free-style and choreographed.  It's pretty amazing to see it all come together like that on the big screen."

Are you interested in giving this event a looking? Be sure to head on down to Martin Place between 7am - 7pm (16th March). 

Source: WPDownUnder

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Microsoft China has been sending out invitations (see above) to the media for their upcoming Windows Phone "Tango" launch event. The launch event, set to be held in Beijing on March 21st, will mark the introduction of the emerging markets version of the mobile OS.

HTC has already launched the HTC Triumph (TITAN MK I), which reportedly runs the latest version of Tango. This also slots in nicely with Stephen Elop's announcement that the first batch of Nokia Windows Phones will be available in China on March 28th, not to mention the upcoming China Telecom CDMA "Lumia 800c" also uses a later version of Tango with newer firmware.

The Marketplace is still closed but developers can submit apps through AppHub. We expect it to be available to consumers soon after the official launch from Microsoft. What's next? The burning question as to when will "Mango" users receive all the improvements found in "Tango"?

Source: LiveSide

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Though we still don't have a confirmed release date here on AT&T for the HTC TITAN II with its 16MP camera (rumored: March 18th) and we haven't heard officially that it's going overseas, WPDownunder reported last week that Australia will be grabbing the device very soon.

Now however, we have a time-frame for release: Telstra will begin advertising the device on March 27th with an anticipated release date during the first two weeks of April. That's even ahead of the Lumia 900 (unlocked) which is expected to ship at the end of April (no word yet on a carrier release, though mid-year has been talked about).

It will be certainly interesting to see if Australia does indeed get the TITAN II this early. We reported yesterday that the first TITAN had been removed from some UK online stores, perhaps in anticipation of the TITAN II's launch--things do seem to moving in that direction.

Source: WPDownUnder

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Nokia is planning to hold a number of launch events in Australia this month to celebrate the release of the Lumia 800. As one can see in the above image, an event is planned in three major cities - Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne. The events are set to sport a number of Lumia (both 710 and 800) demos to allow the public to test drive the experience of Windows Phone and Nokia.

While we're not aware of exactly what the Finnish manufacturer has planned, but if London is anything to go by it should be an impressive day in each of the selected cities. The full event schedules are as follows:

As well as the above official launch parties, both Techin5 and WPDownUnder are collaborating to arrange a meet up at Melbourne, on the day of the Nokia Live event. Should you be interested in meeting up with other Windows Phone enthusiasts as well as the two websites, be sure to head on over to Techin5 (link below) and the WhirlPool thread for more details / updates.

Source: Techin5

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Good news for those of you in the UK, tech site Mobile Fun is reporting that they have the dates for your new Nokia phones, the Lumia 900 and the Lumia 610, representing both the high and low ends of Nokia's new beachhead strategy.

The 900 featuring a 4.3" screen and front facing camera will reportedly land on April 9th--a date that's not too far off and seemingly in line with recent rumors.

Likewise, the Lumia 610 will is rumored to be available June 11th when it will launch with Windows Phone "Tango" to better support low-end specs such as 256 MB of RAM. That makes sense as it'll give developers a few months to re-structure their apps to meet those new low memory requirements as well as time for Microsoft/Nokia to finish any last minute touches to the OS.

By June, Windows Phone users should have quite the array of Nokia devices to choose from.

Source: MobileFun; Thanks, hipporama, for the heads up

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To celebrate the launch of the Lumia 800 in Ireland, Vodafone has an enticing offer active should you look to purchase Nokia's Windows Phone on contract or PAYG (Pay-as-you-go). By investing in a shiny new 800 before March 1st, you'll automatically be entered into a draw for a chance to win an Xbox 360 console along with 12 months of Xbox LIVE Gold membership.

Source: Vodafone

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Nokia has officially launched the Lumia 800 in Ireland, with the above video capturing the action at (and around) Grafton Street, Dublin. We can see the Nokia team handing out free hot beverages, invading carrier and retail stores to effectively showcase the Lumia 800. There was also a prize draw for a handset giveaway.

Are you planning to get your hands on the "sexy, elegant, beautiful, wonderful, functional" Lumia 800? The handset is available from Vodafone on contract at €30/mo or for €429 without a tied plan, as well as usual retailers.

Source: YouTube (Nokia IRL), thanks Ellis for the tip!

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We've been covering the launch of Windows Phone in Indonesia via the Lumia 710 and 800 for a few weeks now. Officially being released over the weekend, the launch was proceeded by numerous events to spark interest and build momentum.

One of those events was a Nokia Developer Day day sponsored by Microsoft and it was attempting to break a record with at least 800 developers coding at once for new Windows Phone apps. Now, the Indonesian Record Museum (Museum Rekor Indonesia / MURI), which is similar to Guinness for world-record keeping, has officially certified the day as a record with more than 800 devs participating in the 24-hour event.

Entered as record number 5308 in the MURI archives, the award was accepted by Narenda Wicaksono, Development Operations Manager Nokia Indonesia and Microsoft's Risman Adnan, Developer Director of Microsoft Indonesia (image above).

Nokia Developer Day was held on February 4 through the 5th at Graha Mandala Siliwangi, Bandung and seems to have been a resounding success in both gaining attention and hopefully a trove new applications for the Indonesian Marketplace. One of those apps evidently is a Reuters Kompass TV video streaming program, making it one of the first on-demand news apps for Windows Phone and it should be available to all users in the next few months.

Source: Tekno Kompass 1, 2; Nokia Developer Day image via Aca S. (@superaca); Thanks, Hermawan S., for the tip!

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