China

It’s hard to believe it was a little over a week ago that Microsoft announced plans to buy Nokia’s devices and services unit for a cool $7.2 billion. Such a move easily triggered fears that other OEMs might not look so favorably at the deal and their enthusiasm for Windows Phone would wane. Not that many OEMs put anywhere near as much effort as Nokia, but that’s for another day. Either way, don’t worry about Huawei who has gone on record stating their support for Windows Phone.

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Huawei is one of the few Windows Phone OEMs that have not been discouraged by the dominance of Nokia. Recently the Chinese phone maker just released its Ascend W2 to the Chinese market. We have heard quite a bit about the successor to the W1 in the past. But today we finally get to see it in full function.

Let's go over the specs of W2 first. It's not a superstar device by any definition: 4.3" touchscreen with a resolution of 800x480, dual core processor clocked at 1.4GHz, 512MB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, a 5 megapixel rear camera that does not come with a LED flashlight like most other smartphones do these days, and no front-facing camera at all. That's right. It's not a high end phone, and never intended to be sold as one. Ascend W2 is currently sold on Chinese e-commerce website 360Buy for CNY 999 (US$ 163), or even cheaper if you are of higher-tiered membership at 360Buy.

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The Nokia Lumia 1020 has already started shipping in the US, but other markets around the world are still waiting for the manufacturer to launch the new flagship. The latest market to see the handset released is China. Priced at 5,999 CNY (about $980), a fairly steep price point as we've come to expect. Retailer Suning has a promotion running for the Lumia 1020 with owners walking away with a free camera grip and 200 CNY Suning gift card.

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The Lumia 1020 is Nokia's pride and joy when it comes to smartphone photography. The handset has launched in the US, but other markets are still looking to get their paws on the high-end device. While it's a niche Lumia handset, the Lumia 1020 is the most advanced Windows Phone available, and now we've learned that it will be launching in China this month - on August 15th to be exact.

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There's nothing worse than purchasing a Windows Phone, but not able to rock the night away with apps and games from the store. The unique market that is China has been an interesting addition to the ecosystem with Xbox Live, social networks and even store content being affected by tight restrictions (The Great Firewall).

Luckily there's light at the end of the tunnel as LiveSino reports that it's now possible to alter your region and then download content from the store that's not published for China.

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Almost exactly a year ago, Chinese device manufacturer OPPO was rumored to be working on a Windows Phone 8 device that was slated for a 2013 release. If recent images that were posted on Sina Weibo (Twitter's Chinese counterpart) by OPPO’s Social Marketing Director Li Ying Ming are to be believed, then the rumors could be close to coming to fruition. The pictures show what appears to be a mockup (translation: not a real) of OPPO's Android-powered Find 5 running Windows Phone 8.

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Bloatware just got a lot better on our Windows Phones or at least in China. Camera360 has announced a partnership with Nokia that will have the camera app pre-installed on the Nokia Lumia 925 sold in China.

Camera360 is a fantastic Windows Phone app that is part photo editor, photo organizer and camera app. There is no doubt that Camera360 will compliment the Lumia 925's camera very well.

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Despite high expectations, the internet is not a place where you can say whatever you want. There are etiquettes to make sure everyone could have reasonably enjoyable online experience. That's why there are moderators and administrators everywhere to have personal assaults in discussion threads removed, and to have user who spam banned.

The same applies to Windows Phone Store, and Windows Store. The app review you submitted don't just appear immediately. Instead, there is someone (or some bot) at Microsoft having a quick look at it first, and have it published if nothing particularly naught is found. You guys should have been used to it already, after so long time.

However, according to Chinese site WPDang, online etiquette does not exist in the Chinese Windows Phone Store, which is causing a growing problem for user experience.

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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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