Ever since Microsoft removed the licensing fee for the Windows Phone operating system, we have seen a healthy number of new OEMs joining the ecosystem in a pretty short time. Now Hisense, a relatively low profile Chinese smartphone maker that previously has been focusing on Android, is about to announce their first ever Windows Phone device on June 26. That is the 26th day of June in China, which means by the time you are reading this story, the device would have already been unveiled, and our follow-up story will be almost ready.
News of such an announcement by Hisense came yesterday, though we have more details to add to the story today.
The announcement comes as quite a surprise. Microsoft has never mentioned any possible partnership with Hisense, and the latter has never shown any interest in the Windows Phone OS. All in a sudden, Hisense not only joined the gang, but also has a product prepared. That's some hi(gh) sense of secrecy.
Meanwhile, according to Chinese tech site WPDang's insider source, China Telecom, the country's third largest carrier (and the only one running a CDMA network), will soon support carrier billing for the Windows Phone Store. Despite China's economic boom in recent years, credit cards are not household items there yet. Thus being able to purchase games and apps with one's phone account is a giant convenience to many. China Mobile, the largest carrier there, has already been doing this. If China Unicom could also have carrier billing in place, Chinese Windows Phone users will enjoy easy billing everywhere.
Stay tuned for our coverage of the Hisense phone. The brand is not exactly known for producing top-notch flagship powerhouses, so we assume the mysterious device will be either entry-level or mid range. But we are more than happy to be proven wrong on this.