launch

As with all non-official announcements, a good measure of trepidation is required before accepting these rumours. Those chaps at wpdang are reporting that HTC is to kick off its range of new phones with an announcement in the third week of September in either London or New York.

The website then goes on to say that, they now have two separate sources confirming the launch. Interesting stuff, if the rumoured specs are anything to go by then HTC will have some wonderfully compelling hardware to show off Windows Phone 8 come end of the year. 

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UK mobile phone retailer Phones 4u has announced today that it will be launching the Samsung Omnia M exclusively. The Windows Phone is said to be arriving into the UK on August 1st when Phones 4u will exclusively stock the device for two months until it opens up for other retailers.

The Omnia M sports a 1Ghz chip, 4" S-AMOLED display, and 4GB of storage, perfect for those who don't require a powerful device and who don't particularly want to splash out on a shiny new Lumia 900. Phones 4u has been able to bag a handful of exclusives on the Windows Phone platform, including the white Lumia 800 / 900.

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Last we reported that Compal was seeing a reduction in orders of Lumia smartphones from Nokia, fueling some speculation that either Nokia was winding down production in general or they were transferring production to their own shops.

It looks like the latter may now be the case as some of the Lumia 900s coming onto the market are now coming from Argentina. Nokia opened a factory there some time in 2011 and it now looks to have completed its transition to producing Lumia 900 phones albeit as a savings from making it directly in Finland.

Nokia is also set to launch the 900 in Argentina presumably in a few weeks, corroborating earlier reports that the device was to launch their “second half” of the year.

Source: Celularis; Thanks, Esteban T., for the link!

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With news this week that Nokia has had mild to moderate success on AT&T with the Lumia 900 we should not be surprised to hear that a price drop is coming. After all, the phone has been out now for nearly four months and product cycles dictate that there is always something better down the line.

We’re hearing from an AT&T employee (and we verified with someone higher up in the food chain) that the flagship Windows Phone is set to get a $50 price cut this Sunday and will now be offered for $49.99 on a two-year contract--all colors.  That’s in addition to AT&T stores still offering $50 in free accessories making the Lumia 900 a decent deal for new users looking for a solid smartphone.

This Sunday is also a big day for Nokia and AT&T as the pink Lumia 900 is also going on sale, a carrier exclusive. The combo of a pink Lumia 900 for the ladies along with a $50 price tag should give the phone a modest boost in sales--at least that’s probably what AT&T and Nokia are hoping. It should be interesting to see if sales are brisk or stagnant in a few days from now.

Curiously, the Lumia 900 is still the #3 best-seller for AT&T phones on Amazon Wireless and has remained in the position for quite some time. While Amazon Wireless is not a direct reflection on overall sales, it’s a good sign that at least some people are buying it.

Are any of our readers looking to pick up the pink Lumia 900 this weekend for their woman-folk? Does the $50 price tag make it that much sweeter or do you think it won’t matter with sales? Thanks, Danny, for the tip

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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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This evening at the Turbine Hall in Newtown, South Africa, Nokia and MTN announced the launch of the Nokia Lumia 900 in South Africa.

It will be available on MTN Anytime 200 for R369 per month on a 24 month contract. It also comes with a pitiful 75MB of bandwidth per month that you can use to check your email a couple times. The phone should be in stores across the country around the 28th of this month. Other contracts should be available but MTN is not releasing any details just yet.

We knew about the launch, but something that we hadn't expected was that there are 200 Limited Edition Batman phones available to the first 200 customers at a branch in each main city. So we suggest you get down to any of the following stores when it is available to snap one of those up: Morningside (Johannesburg), Gateway (Durban), Canal Walk (Cape Town) and Port Elizabeth.

Vodacom was the first service provider in South Africa to offer a Lumia device when it launched the Nokia Lumia 800. Since then they have also started offering the Lumia 710, but for some reason will not be stocking the Lumia 900. MTN is on the opposite end of the stick offering only the Lumia 900.

Source: MyBroadband

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Good news for those in Venezuela, the Nokia Lumia 800 is now available exclusively on Movistar for Bs 4,399 on contract.

The Lumia 800, featuring a 3.7" screen, 1.4GHz CPU and 16GB of storage has been taking the world by storm, hitting numerous Latin and South American countries in the last few weeks. The launch of the Lumia 800 follows Microsoft's recent launch of the Windows Phone Marketplace in the same country back in early May, allowing users in that country to gain access to the nearly 100,000 or so apps and games.

Source: Lapatilla; Thanks, Andrés, for the tip!

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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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If you're a Windows Phone 7 developer, you would probably have heard us talk about this Kirkland, Wash. startup. To recap, it was founded by David McLauchlan (CEO), and Jeff MacDuff (CTO). Both are former Microsoft employees with Dave doing work on the Zune hardware business amongst others, and Jeff working on a range of products including that Windows Phone 7 you're clutching.

Although the platform has been out since last year, up until now it has been in beta. But today they have finally hit v1, along with a bunch of exciting announcements.

So what's new? Well, in addition to the info in the quote below, Buddy has now got support for the Aviary image filters - which has recently been included in Rowi. Along with that, there is now a native .NET SDK which makes it absolutely painless to use the platform in your own app, plus is the first SDK that supports Windows 8! I have personally used the SDK in a Windows 8 app, and it was simpler than the time I stole candy from a baby (I didn't really, promise). The SDK also successfully passes the Windows App Certification Kit (WACK), which is required to publish apps into the Store, and is failed by pretty much every other 3'rd party library due to broken dependencies.

We know what you're thinking though...what good is a press release without an infographic? So we have two, just for you (and the thousands of others like you)...

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Nokia has today announced availability of the low-end, most affordable Lumia Windows Phone in the UK - the Lumia 610. The device is available in white, cyan, magenta and the usual black variants. As well as being a Tango targeted handset (only sports the minimum specifications), the Lumia 610 comes with tethering out of the box, as well as a flip-to-silence feature.

Should you be interested in purchasing one, the Lumia 610 is priced from just £15/mo on contract reportedly with O2, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and is stocked by both Carphone Warehouse, Clove and Phones 4u. Expect to see some stock being promoted at each supporting source. Sporting a 3.7" display, 256MB RAM, 5MP camera, 8GB storage and is powered by a 800Mhz chip. 

Originally, June 11th was on the cards for the release date, so it's good to see Nokia coming forward with the Lumia 610 a week or two in advance.

Head past the break to check our unboxing and hands on video of the Nokia Lumia 610 from a few days ago...

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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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Around here at WPCentral, we get a lot of international users asking "When is X coming to my country?". The Lumia 900 is one of those frequently asked about and specifically in Singapore.

So we're glad to report that it's officially launching there on May 26th, fetching for S$849 (US$ 670) and available in three colors: matte-black, glossy-white and of course, cyan.

The pricing may seem a bit high, especially since in the US it can be had for $450 (off-contract). However pricing is relative and from what we understand high-end devices like HTC and Samsung often sell for S$900 or higher. In that sense the Lumia 900 is not cutthroat cheap but it's fair. Reportedly three carries will have the device available to consumers within a few weeks.

How well will Nokia and Windows Phone fair in Singapore remains to be seen. They already ave the Lumia 710 and 800 (in fact they had the 800 way back in December). Will the 900 grab that upper echelon of the market? We hope so.

Source: CNet (Asia); Thanks, Corraine, for the tip

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Nokia has released a press statement detailing the imminent Belgium launch of the Lumia 610, the manufacturer's most affordable low-end Windows Phone. It is expected to be priced at €249 (including VAT). Should you be on the lookout for a low-end Windows Phone to get you started, either the Lumia 610 or 710 fit the bill nicely, depending on what deals draw you in. The smartphone will be available in glossy white, magenta, cyan and black

Nokia has been present in the country previously promoting the Lumia family of Windows Phones with cupcakes being handed out, but if the Lumia 610 and 710 don't interest you, the Lumia 900 is also being stocked in the country for €599 at PDAShop.be.

Source: Nokia Belgium (Bing translate), PDAShop.be

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The Nokia Lumia 900 has previously been announced to be heading to the UK shores next month, with Clove UK expecting to stock and ship the handset by May 16th. The Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U have also jumped on the Lumia 900 train with pre-order and registration pages being published for interested customers to keep up-to-date. We've now seen reports that point to a delay with the Windows Phone hitting shelves.

According to V3, a UK technology news website, Nokia has officially confirmed that the availability date for the Lumia 900 at Phones4U has been pushed back from April 27th to May 14th, due to 'overwhelming demand' in the US on AT&T. We've covered a few times how the handset has gone out of stock, and the white Lumia 900 remains to be particularly rare.

"The overwhelming demand for the Lumia 900 in the US with AT&T has, unfortunately, had a small knock-on effect on product availability in the UK. The Lumia 900 is now expected to be available from Phones4U around the 14th May."

This date is pretty much bang on with what both Clove UK and the Carphone Warehouse originally published which makes us believe that either Phones4U was exclusively set to stock the handsets first, or they were jumping the gun slightly with the estimated date of availability (Nokia hasn't officially announced a release date). But the Finnish manufacturer has been relatively broad with their statement. What's not clear is if this just affects the Phones4U white Lumia 900, or the other versions available at the three retailers.

Clove UK has remained silent on their official blog, not announcing any delay with the Lumia 900. We'll keep our eyes and ears open for any further details regarding the possible delay. Could U.S. sales really be that positive? As well as the potential UK delay, as if that wasn't enough, according to Belgium retailer PDAshop.be the Lumia 900 will be available for shipping for €599 on May 9th - a full five days before Nokia expects to be able to ship the Windows Phone in volume to the UK.

Although dates are being flung left, right and centre, we'd recommend readers keep a mid-May release in mind when considering the Lumia 900. Should delays to the UK prove to be reality, it may well affect other European countries too in the U.S. backlash. On a brighter note, at least AT&T's CEO Ralph de la Vega can have a laugh on CNBC with the Windows Phone.

Source: pdashop.beV3, via: Inquirer; thanks to babse and Michael for the tips!

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It would appear that the HTC Titan II has made its way south to become Australia's first 4G  Windows Phone. Rumored launch? Early May.

Reports have demo units of the 4.7" Super LCD screened device landing in selected Telstra stores. You are also seeing the Titan II (listed as the HTC Titan 4G) featured in the new Telstra consumer catalog.  The catalog listing makes note of the Titan II's ultra-impressive 16 mega pixel camera.  A feature we also believe is ultra-impressive.

There are no details available as of yet on pricing or plans for the HTC Titan II. Speculation has the new Windows Phone running on a $79AUD monthly plan and the outright price being in the mid-$800AUD (about $875 US).

Still no word on when or if Australia will be getting the Nokia Lumia 900 but it's nice to see the Titan II working its way into other markets.

Source: wpdownunder; Thanks, Sheeds, for the tip!

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If there is one thing you can count on, it's Nokia throwing a great launch party regardless of the location. From London to New York, Nokia has some great flair for device announcements.

A few weeks ago we broke the news of Nokia launching the Lumia 710 and 800 in the Philippines -- an important region for the Finnish company and Windows Phone. The Lumia 710 was launching on Smart while the Lumia 800 was going to carrier Globe. Tonight that launch happened and globe-trotter Mark Guim who runs The Nokia Blog (and the always interesting Married 2 Travel site) was there to film it.

Besides DJs, a great light show and...is that the Blue Man Group?...Nokis seems to have thrown together a popular and successful launch. Kudos to Nokia and to the Philippines -- welcome to the Amazing Everyday.

Source: The Nokia Blog

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Nokia has today announced that the manufacturer will be kicking off the Lumia 610 Windows Phone "Tango" smartphone launch in Asian markets at the end of April. Philippines will be the first country to see the 610, with the following weeks taking the Windows Phone to China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The more affordable Windows Phone sports the low 256MB RAM, 8GB storage, 3.7" LCD screen, and 5MP camera. Running "Tango" the Lumia 610 features the improvements and fixes included in the update, as well as introduced limitations due to restricted resources.

Check out the full press release after the break. Source: Nokia

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With the confusion this week of some news blogs publishing alleged photos of a Lumia line waiting to purchase a Windows Phone at launch that later turned out to be an iPhone launch, we feel the need to relay some positive coverage of the Lumia launch in China. China Telecom released the Lumia 800c late last month, and announced along with Nokia that both companies have plans in place to market the handset.

According to the photos published on the Meizu discussion board, the Lumia 800c launch was well received by consumers with a healthy line being illustrated. It's a positive sign to see such interest shown for Windows Phone. Bravo, Nokia.

Check out more photos after the break.

Source: Meizu, via: @Jubbing

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We've already reported that Globe Telcom is slated to get the Nokia Lumia 800 in the Philippines on April 16th. Now on the same day, SMART Communications, another major carrier in the same region, is scheduled to get the Lumia 710 as an exclusive.

In addition, the carrier looks to be getting the Lumia 610 and the Lumia 900 as well, though no launch dates are given for those devices. The carrier is using the the slogan "Your social life, amplified" with a pretty cool graphic (see above) to show off the features of Windows Phone OS.

One thing is for certain, the carrier looks to be excited about getting these phones and so should customers. You can even pre-order the Lumia 710 and get a free invite to the launch party at Republiq. Anyone going?

Source: @SMARTCares; Thanks, Ryan D., for the tip!

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So we just came back from Times Square here in New York City where Nokia was throwing a lil' party right in the center of Manhattan for that Lumia 900. Turns out, as you probably know by now, that superstar Nicki Minaj was performing live. In fact, she performed three songs to a fairly massive crowd that was certainly very receptive to the whole scene.

After the songs they introduced the Nokia Lumia 900 while a DJ spun some music -- it was similar to the London-Deadmau5 event, though obviously not as massive. To the side, while the music was pumping, a giant high resolution LCD screen showed off an exciting light show leading up the Lumia 900 finally appearing.

Times Square crowd image via Sokane1/Instagram

All in all in was a fun albeit short event (it lasted about 30 minutes). While not as wow-worthy as the London 3D projection, it will certainly grab a lot of attention and is certainly some great publicity. Oh and a lot of the footage shot there will evidently be used in an upcoming video with the liver performance showing up tomorrow on Facebook.

After the break, you can check two videos we recorded (the second one starts shaky, sorry 'bout that, but it gets better). Also, we have some photos to boot.

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