Microsoft announced on Wednesday that its mobile operating system Windows Phone is now officially available in China. The company confirmed the launch on its Windows Phone blog on Wednesday. The first Windows Phone-powered handset to be released in the region is the HTC Eternity, known as the HTC Titan in the United States. It features a huge 4.7-inch display, a 1.5GHz single-core Snapdragon processor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle rear camera, a 1,600 mAh battery and a sleek unibody aluminum case. The Eternity will initially only be available unlocked. China is expected to surpass the U.S. this year to become the top smartphone market in the world by subscriber volume, and the total number of mobile subscribers in the country recently topped 1 billion. More →
Microsoft on Wednesday began sending out invitations to the press for the company’s Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh launch event in China. According to Liveside, the event will be held in Beijing on March 21st. While the invitation doesn’t mention any specific handsets, HTC recently launched the Titan — becoming the first manufacturer to release a Window Phone device in China. Nokia CEO and president Stephen Elop will also reportedly host a separate event on March 28th. The company is expected to launch three Lumia devices, most likely running the refreshed Windows Phone 7.5 operating system. As of the fourth quarter of 2011, Nokia controls 16.1% of the Chinese mobile market, second only to Samsung. More →
Images of Microsoft’s next mobile operating system, Windows Phone “Tango,” were published on Wednesday, showing off a number of new features. Tango will reportedly feature the ability to export contacts to a SIM card, handle multiple attachments in a single MMS message and manage roaming both domestically and internationally, according to WP7forum. It is also rumored that Microsoft is building a native voice recording application for MMS messaging. The images suggest that the company will be dropping the minimum hardware requirements of Windows Phone handsets down to 256MB of RAM and the camera requirements down to just 3 megapixels. The OS will warn users with a message in the Marketplace if they attempt to download an application that requires additional memory. Earlier reports have indicated that Tango may only be released for lower-end devices, but official details are expected to be revealed at Mobile World Congress later this month. Purported screenshots from Windows Phone Tango follow after the break. More →
We’re still waiting for Microsoft to launch Windows Phone “Tango,” but supposed details have already emerged surrounding the next major Windows Phone release code-named “Apollo.” According to Pocketnow, which claims to have obtained a video of Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore that was intended to be viewed only by Nokia employees, Apollo will launch as Windows Phone 8. Read on for more. More →
Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) currently offers support for 35 different languages, however Microsoft may be planning to add an additional 85 languages in the next Windows Phone Tango update. The new version of Windows Phone, codenamed Tango, is expected to better cater to emerging markets, which will help Microsoft and its Windows Phone partners expand the platform globally. WPSauce, the source of the rumor, said that Microsoft announced the added language support during an event in India where the company also noted that future Windows Phone updates will support C++. It remains unclear when the Redmond-based company plans to release Windows Phone Tango. More →
HTC and Samsung are both preparing to announce new Windows Phone devices with 4G LTE support, and a few details on the phones were leaked Thursday. HTC’s device is currently codenamed “Radiant” while Samsung’s is codenamed “Mandel,” The Verge said. Both phones will reportedly run an “early build” of Windows Phone Tango that offers full support for LTE, a connectivity option that Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) does not support. The Samsung Mandel will allegedly have a screen that’s even larger than the 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display on the Focus S, but its exact dimensions are still unknown. Verizon Wireless has only ever offered a single Windows Phone device to date, so it’s possible that these phones could fill out its Windows Phone portfolio. We wouldn’t be surprised if at least one of them lands on AT&T’s shelves, though, which have been more welcoming to Microsoft’s mobile platform. It’s possible we will hear more information during this year’s Consumer Electronics Show next month, since The Verge says both phones should land early next year.
Microsoft may follow up its Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) release with Windows Phone Tango as soon as the second quarter next year according to a leaked document WMPoweruser claims to be an an official roadmap. Windows Phone Tango may only be released for lower-end products with the “best prices,” although a conflicting rumor suggested that Nokia’s flagship Lumia 900 will run Tango also. Apollo will likely be Microsoft’s next major update and the leaked roadmap suggests it will be launched during the fourth quarter next year. Apollo is expected to offer integrated NFC support and a new positioning framework for GPS, among other enhancements. More →
We just got the lowdown on one of Nokia’s upcoming flagship devices currently set to launch in early 2012 in the United States. According to our source, the new Nokia smartphone will be the Lumia 900, a Windows Phone with the same basic identity as the Lumia 800 but with a bigger display and other enhancements. The handset will reportedly feature a 1.4GHz processor, a 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display and an 8-megapixel camera, and it will ship with Windows Phone “Tango.” We have also been told by a trusted source that Nokia is prepping a huge marketing blitz in the U.S. for January and February, which leads us to believe that we can expect the Finnish vendor’s new flagship Windows Phone to launch some time after CES in January.
Nokia just launched its first two Windows Phone handsets and it appears the Finnish phone maker isn’t letting off the gas any time soon. According to data discovered inside of a Windows Phone application called “I’m a WP7,” a user recently accessed the app from a previously unknown device called the Nokia “Champagne.” Reportedly, the Champagne is running Windows Phone version 7.10.8711, which is believed to be the rumored “Tango” build of Windows Phone. We’ve heard plenty of rumors that Tango will either follow the Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” update as a stepping stone to Windows Phone “Apollo,” or that it will be released as an iteration of the OS for low-end handsets. Earlier on Thursday, we published a story suggesting AT&T and Nokia may be working on a 4G LTE-capable Lumia device that could debut during the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. Perhaps that is when we will hear more about Windows Phone Tango and the Nokia Champagne. More →
Tango, the popular cross-platform video calling application for PC, Android and iPhone, launched on Wednesday as the first video-chat application for Windows Phone 7.5 devices. You will need a front-facing camera to take advantage of the face-to-face chat feature, which means you’ll also need to own one of the newer Windows Phone 7.5 devices such as the Samsung Focus S, Samsung Focus Flash or HTC Titan. We installed the application this morning and gave it a quick test over a 3G network. The video quality was poor, but we were alerted that this was because of a weak 3G signal. Still, we loved the user interface on Windows Phone 7.5 and found it much cleaner than the Tango application for Android. In addition, it automatically filters out your address book to show only contacts that have Tango installed, which was a nice touch. The application is free and is available in the Windows Phone Marketplace now. A video of the application follows after the break. More →
We have heard mumblings that Windows Phone “Tango” and Windows Phone “Apollo” will eventually follow the release of Mango, which will launch on a number of new handsets this fall. New information on Tango surfaced on Monday and while we originally imagined Tango to be an upgrade from Mango, that may not actually be the case. ZDNET’s Mary Jo Foley has learned that Tango will likely be loaded on “lower price point” devices that “Microsoft and Nokia have been promising.” The move certainly makes sense, especially given Nokia’s recent announcement that it will stop selling feature phones and S40 handsets in the U.S. We have already seen leaks of Nokia’s “SeaRay” Windows Phone handset, and Foley says her sources usually use SeaRay and Tango “in the same breath.” We expect Nokia to unveil its SeaRay handset during the Nokia World conference on October 26th, and until now assumed that it would be a Mango device. It looks like we will have to wait until October to find out. More →
Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha on Tuesday said that his company is open to building smartphones powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. The Motorola boss said that while the company is focused on Google’s Android platform right now, it would absolutely consider the new Microsoft mobile OS under the right conditions. “I think we’re completely open to the notion of Windows as a platform,” Jha said during the Oppenheimer Technology & Communications Conference. “Clearly, all of our focus today is on Android.” Jha said that in order for Windows Phone to work for Motorola, the company would likely need to secure a deal similar to the one between Microsoft and Nokia, which allows the Finnish phone maker to customize and alter the OS in ways other OEMs cannot. The CEO noted that while his company would be willing to evaluate the platform, he’s not certain that Windows Phone will succeed in a world dominated by Android and Apple’s iOS. Jha does not believe Windows Phone, webOS and RIM’s BlackBerry OS will all survive in the long run, though it is not yet known which of the three platforms will thrive and which will fail. More →
Microsoft’s new Windows Phone Mango update is expected to begin rolling out this fall, but there are already reports that the company is working on the next updates, codenamed “Tango” and “Apollo.” DigiTimes reported on Tuesday that Compal Communications, which manufacturers devices for Acer and Nokia, recently inked a Microsoft deal confirming that it will build devices for Mango as well as the next-generation Tango update. Microsoft hasn’t discussed Tango yet, so it’s unclear what will be included or how big of a jump it will be from the long awaited Mango release. Reportedly, Tango will then be phased out in favor of a new “Apollo” OS, which we first heard about late last year. More →