orange

The French mobile network Orange is offering to purchase five apps from the Marketplace for new Nokia Lumia 800 buyers. When downloading the first five apps, instead of using an attached credit card, the Windows Phone owner can choose "Orange bill" as the payment option and the carrier will not charge these five apps to the next bill. The beauty of this offer is Orange will allow any app that costs up to €14.99, so in theory you could get €75 worth of apps for free. Not bad!

The offer is for new purchasers of the Lumia 800 (available in black and magenta), and will be running from January 12 to February 8, 2012.

Source: Professeur Thibault (translation)

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There is a great offer at Orange FR for the Samsung Omnia W. You can get your hands on the Mango handset for just €1 after a €50 reimbursement. The offer is valid from November 24th to February 8th, 2012, and will require a contract to be taken out. €39/mo for 24 months, or €45/mo for 12 months. The specifications for the Omnia W include a 3.7" Super AMOLED screen, 1.4Ghz processor and a 5MP rear camera (with FF VGA camera).

Source: Orange FR, via: MonWindowsPhone

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We previously reported, back at Nokia World '11, that the Lumia 800 will be available in black only for some time across Europe, with cyan and magenta arriving at a later date. We contacted Three UK for details as to when cyan is set to be stocked and we were informed that November 28th (today) would be when they expect to be able to ship the color.

Unfortunately, Three has not updated their website yet to show that the cyan Lumia 800 is available, but The Phone House in France has. Phones4U has had the cyan color on their website for some time now, available on Orange, Vodafone, and O2 of all carriers (they had issues with Nokia regarding marketing conflicts with the iPhone). Orange has the cyan Lumia 800 listed on site, but is "coming soon". Looks like cyan will be hitting shelves soon enough for those who don't wish to have yet another black handset in your arsenal. 

Source: Orange, The Phone House, via: MonWindowsPhone

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According to an article on the blog of the UK smartphone retailer Clove.co.uk, the Nokia Lumia 800 will not be available SIM-free until 2012. All handsets shipped until then will be contract bound, which will begin rolling out on November 16th. While this may come across as a real pain in the butt, carriers are offering some interesting deals with Orange giving away Xbox 360s (should you be an existing customer) and Vodafone doing the same with £60 worth of vouchers.

Source: Clove.co.uk Blog

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Yves Maitre, senior vice president of devices and mobile multimedia at Orange, has told CNET in an interview this week that Windows Phone is the worst-selling platform in Orange's market (behind Android, iOS and Blackberry) in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

"Honestly, it hasn't been as successful as we expected."

I'm not sure if every Windows Phone owner shares the same view as Maitre, since we've already covered problems with carriers not displaying working demo units in stores and promoting the platform in the media. Do you see Orange adverts for Windows Phone on TV, online, on billboards, in newspapers or in stores? If the overall response is "no", then how can Orange expect the platform to sell well against competitors that get more reach to their customer base?

"By Barcelona [the site of February's Mobile World Congress conference], we'll know for sure if Microsoft is in the game or not. If Nokia/Microsoft is not successful in Europe then it will be tough in other countries"

He does remain cautiously optimistic that the Nokia brand will push forward the platform and will force other OEMs to compete with one another through advertising. Maitre views Nokia as an expensive vehicle, "it's like you're driving a Mercedes Benz". With smartphones counting for 50% of sales for Orange, the carrier is going to have to work hard, as well as Microsoft, if they want the OS to compete with Android, Blackberry and the iPhone.

Nokia is set to unveil a "bunch" of handsets at Nokia World next week. Microsoft is banking big on this event and top names will be present as speakers. We'll be there too, so be sure to say hello should you be attending.

Source: CNET

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Some potential good news for those of you on Orange FR and who want to tether: evidently they have the billing plan now in place to charge you to use your Windows Phone as a modem/tethering. Users are being sent a text message that states (translated)

"Service Modem Orange Let's Go is available. Using his mobile as a gateway connection. From € 8 per month for the 200MB option."

Of course Orange France was noted earlier as either disabling this option initially with the Mango update, or perhaps like others, the OEMs just did not have the drivers ready. What this means, assuming it's not a mistake (and it could be just a general message sent to all phones), is that those on Orange should also expect a firmware update to their phone sometime to enable this much desired feature.

We're keeping our fingers crossed.

Source: Mon Windows Phone

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It seems HTC and Phone4u have decided to jump the gun and release the HTC Titan and Radar earlier than what was stated as the release date - possibly to combat the iPhone. The two handsets were originally said to be available October 7th for ordering via the UK retailer website, which we found aberrant as the devices are readily available in stores.

One can find both the Titan and the Radar ready for order and shipping on the Phones4u website, or you can check into your local store for a more hands-on purchase. Contracts are available with the cheapest being Orange with the Radar at £23.50/mo and Vodafone with the Titan at £31/mo.

Thanks Ross for the tip!

Update: Our tipster just confirmed the purchase of an HTC Titan from Phones4u.  He did share this pic of his new phone before relegating it to the charger.

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Orange France ready to roll out Mango

While a leaked Orange memo made the 15th of September "Mango Day", we later realised that this had been pushed back a few more weeks. Here we are at the end of September and the France-based carrier has announced that testing of the update has completed and they will be rolling out Mango in a week or two.

Orange now joins SFR who are also awaiting the green light to roll out the update.

Source: @pressorange, via: MonWindowsPhone

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Another carrier is jumping on the "I'M READY!" wagon, this time it's France-based SFR. The above screenshot shows a detailed page about Mango (basically how to update handsets via Zune), however the "continue" link is pointing at Microsoft's Windows Phone website.

We recently covered a leaked Orange FR memo that detailed the 15th (now gone) as the roll-out day for Mango and how they are even possibly exchanging broken devices with preloaded Mango ones. While we've had a limited release of the update, it seems as though some carriers are still playing catch up for now. Let's not forget that "this fall" begins soon.

Source: MonWindowsPhone

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Yesterday we reported on how Orange France was to release the update for Windows Phone 7.5 Mango beginning on September 15th. Obviously, that has not happened, but it might not be because Orange was unready but rather Microsoft has them holding off.

So it should be of no surprise that they have had their stock of Windows Phone re-flashed with Mango. Evidently, that's the case as Lionel L. can attest over at Smartphone France. Reportedly he had something wrong with his LG Optimus 7 and brought it in for an exchange/warranty repair. He ended up leaving with a brand new Optimus 7, but this time it was running "Mango". As evidence, he supplied the pic you see to the right, where the device is running 7720.68.

All we can say is we're close folks, very close.

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In an interesting internal-memo obtained by Smartphone France, the carrier evidently plans to disable Wifi Sharing, Group MMS (which we covered as being potentially pricey) and Visual Voicemail.

Perhaps WiFi sharing, something we've seen earlier , shouldn't be too much of a surprise--after all, it's expensive, especially for those carriers that don't have a built in billing system. So while a downer, not exactly shocking--in fact we expect more carriers to follow. Group MMS seems benign at first, but we documented how this "feature" can be very expensive. In short, it's labeled as "Group Messaging" but instead of SMS it use MMS in order to keep all the messages threaded. Sending out dozens of MMS messages can be very pricey for some services.

Finally there's Visual Voicemail, which is instantiated in a unique fashion in Mango. As a result, carriers seem limited in their ability to integrate the Mango VV with their own system, hence why we probably will, once again, see this on more carriers as well.

While not the end of the world, it's good for Orange customers in France to be aware of what they are and are not getting with Mango.

Source: Smartphone France, via WPSauce

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N9 launch to clash with Mango?

While the next Windows Phone major update is rapidly approaching, Nokia have still wrapped their N9 running MeeGo in a cloud of not-releasing-any-information. Orange Switzerland has published a release date for the handset (as shown in the image above) of Spetember 15th. This goes with 3 stating that they promise the N9 will be with the carrier by September 23rd. 

What has this got to do with WP7 or the "Mango" update? Well, we're currently looking at a September rollout of new devices from the platform-backed OEMs, including Nokia - not to mention Apple is apparently looking at September too for the iPhone 5. Should the release of the N9 coincide with the launch of the upcoming Nokia "Mango" handset this could cause a clash and potentially dissolve hype for either device (probably the N9 in this case with the sheer volume of Mango devices unveiling).

Of course, no official word has been given by Nokia as to the release date they're looking at for the N9, but it will be interesting should the iPhone 5, the N9 and "Mango" mobile phones all pop up at once, truly giving consumers a selection. The first "Mango" device is set to be released this month in Japan, the Fujitsu-Toshiba IS12T (specifications).

Source: Engadget, via: ElectricPig

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Orange is kicking off the launch of their new Orange Selects Marketplace feature by giving away apps for free throughout July.  Selects is a list of the carrier's "top apps" and appears as a folder in the Marketplace on their customers' phones.  Orange announced the offer to customers today via text messages:

"Celebrate the launch of Orange Selects and get a free app every day throughout July from the Windows Marketplace - exclusively for Orange customers. That's 31 apps for free. Check out today's free app by choosing Orange Selects from the Marketplace hub on your phone.  3G connection required. Data charges may apply."

Unfortunately, the month-long offer is only for Orange customers and not O2 or Vodaphone.  Today's free app is Krashlander, with more to follow, for a total value of about £70. The launch of Orange Select comes right on the heels of the quickly-growing Marketplace hitting 25,000 apps.

Source: Orange; Via: Paul Boocock (Thanks for the tip!), Pocket-Lint

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All updates are now heading to Telefonica customers, this includes both NoDo and the recent security update. Orange UK Omnia 7 devices are scheduling and updates should begin rolling out again soon. I would write that there's still no news regarding Focus handsets but I don't think any of you expected anything new on that front. Keep an eye on the Mcirosoft updates page to see the status of your carrier/device.

Oh and we should mention that this finally actually completes the NoDo update for all (save a few Focus owners, of course). So while it took three months to complete the full roll out for every device, it's still faster than Android, relatively speaking. Having said that, let us hope for a faster turn around with "Mango".

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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Rejoice Orange customer, updates (NoDo and the security fix) are heading your way. A million miles away from us, the LG Quantum on AT&T has joined HTC handsets and is now being scheduled so owners of this device should receive the 7392 notification soon.

As for the Samsung Focus, well, we still have hope right? Be sure to keep a watchful eye on the Microsoft update page or download the "Dude, where's my update" app.

Source: Windows Team Blog

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Orange France releases voice turn-by-turn GPS

While in the U.S., we're actually use to turn-by-turn being provided by our carriers, in Europe it's not so expected. In that sense, it's great news to hear that Orange France has release a full-fledged, custom, turn-by-turn GPS solution for their customers.

The app looks pretty snazzy from the screenshots and it has abundant, if not the usual, features on board:

  • The real-time traffic info;
  • Alerts fixed and mobile radars (database Wikango);
  • Service stations with fuel prices;
  • Parking in the Ile de France
  • Voice guided

The bad news is that it's not locally stored maps, so just like the U.S. counterparts, you have to have a data plan that can both be fast enough to download the data and allows you to have enough data so as to not get over-charged. (Europe tends to have higher data costs and less access to 3G than in the U.S.). Still, it's a nice start and something we're sure many will use. For more info, head to Professeur Thibault who has all the details.

Download Orange GPS here in the Marketplace.

via Professeur Thibault

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Orange UK May Webinars

Orange has two upcoming webinars which they are inviting developers (and interested potentials/students) to get in the know on how with submitting apps and developing on Windows Phone 7. The first webinar is to be held on the 10th May at 2:00PM (early doors for our American friends) and will look at effectively submitting apps into the Orange App Shop while looking at Orange Partner Connect.

What's more interesting for us is the second webinar that covers the Windows Phone 7 platform and ecosystem. This webinar is planned for the 17th May at 2:00PM. Pretty interesting to see one of the UK carriers taking a diving look at the WP7 platform from a development point of view. We'll keep eyes on the sessions and will relay anything interesting. To sign up for either (or both) webinars, check the link below.

Source: Orange, via: Twitter

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If you're on Orange, some good news for you. They have opened up a new gateway for all your app, game and music purchases in the Windows Phone Marketplace. You can now choose between your account credit card and your Orange phone bill. 

While this is a fantastic new way to easily populate your internal storage, we recommend caution - try not to go overboard or you'll receive a nasty surprise at the end of your contracted month. Are you on Orange, and are you interested in using your monthly bill to pay for apps etc.?

Source: MyKindofPhone

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Have you ever considered the possibility of a comedy sketch covering Blackberry, Orange, Apple, Windows and the Xbox 360? The One Ronnie, a fantastic British comedy sketch show from the BBC with Ronnie Corbett has done just this. Turning 80 in December 2010, Ronnie is a comic legend and has appeared alongside the top names in the industry.

In one clip, he is joined by Harry Enfield. Doing what they do best, they cover the technological category of personal computers and mobile phones. Although Windows Phone 7 isn't mentioned (probably for the best), the sheer comedy value of the amusement the products from Microsoft, Apple, RIM and Orange play host to is worth every second.

Thanks, @TheGeek411

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