vietnam

The Nokia Lumia 930 has yet to launch and become officially available for purchase, but that hasn't halted retailers from riding the hype train and firing up pre-orders. The latest markets to be included on this ride are Vietnam and Belgium, both retailers following suit with an expected release sometime early July. Microsoft formally unveiled the Lumia 930 at a media event in Vietnam today, noting that the smartphone will cost 12,999,000 VND ($610) off contract (starting July 1), while Cool Blue in Belgium has the device listed at €499,99 ($680).

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Windows Phone 8 is home to an excellent massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) called Order & Chaos Online. Sadly, publisher Gameloft sent that game out to die by failing to support it with updates and keep it content-identical to its superior iOS and Android versions. What’s a Windows Phone-owning MMORPG fan to do?

Enter Vietnamese developer TeaMobi, recent graduate of Nokia’s AppCampus program. TeaMobi has just released an MMORPG called Spirit of Hero on Windows Phone – before competing platforms. We learned about Spirit of Hero through Windows Phone Central’s popular “Newly Discovered Games” forum thread, where our dedicated readers share the latest games they’ve discovered. Is Spirit of Hero a worthy successor to Order & Chaos Online? Find out in our detailed launch review.

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Nokia has unveiled the Lumia 1520 in Vietnam, announcing pre-orders from November 8th. The price is said to be $15,999,000 VND ($800), according to WinPhoneViet. The device was unveiled in Saigon yesterday, just weeks after the product was shown off in Abu Dhabi. If you're waiting to get your hands on the new smartphone, the wait is almost over.

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Nokia music is expanding. The service is launching in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, following the recent release in Indonesia. That's not all as Nokia is also taking its music service to new hardware. We're not talking about phones or handheld devices, but vehicles. The company is pushing hard for market penetration, as well as setting out on new ventures.

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IDC has released data showing an increase in smartphone shipments in Q2 2013 in Vietnam. 32.7 percent of total mobile phone shipments were smartphones, up from just 14.7 percent in Q2 2012. The good news here for Windows Phone is not only are we looking at a larger market for OEMs to take advantage of, but the platform has increased its share of the smartphone market in the region by a fair amount.

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Nokia's Lumia 925 has popped up on the Vietnamese site Thegioididong.com for pre-order, with an expected delivery around the end of August. The phone will fetch 11,900,00 dong (about $568) and comes with a free set of Coloud Boom headphones. In addition, the first 1000 people to pre-order the Lumia 925 will receive a free DC-16 backup USB charger.

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Nokia is keeping up with developing OS updates for its Lumia line of devices or at least they keep priming them for release. The latest update, found on the NaviFirm servers, is for build 8779 which is just slightly ahead of build 8773 aka Tango. Tango just started rolling out by various carriers and OEMs last week (see out documented features list for Tango here).

What’s new in 8779? We’re actually not sure. Support for the location-based alert icon is thought to be one, but we’ve seen it on a Lumia 610 with specific firmware (not ours though). Due to the regions where this is being prepped for—Thailand, Pakistan, India, Lebanon, Tunisia—we’re going to guess that better support for specific markets could be another feature.  Other features like static-IP for WiFi and more SIM options may also be available are other possible options.

Windows Phone 8779 showing up in NaviFirm Plus for the Lumia 710 & 800

The OS update is unofficially available for the Lumia 710 and Lumia 800 (nothing for the 900 just yet) and can be downloaded using NaviFirm Plus and flashing your device. It’s a tricky process but technically legit as it uses Nokia’s own methods. However, there are still risks involved including not being able to flash back and due to the language issue (we’re not sure what language packs are onboard) you may not be able to read your device again.

For that reason, we can’t recommend trying this out but we’ll keep an eye out if and when more region- or carrier-specific versions pop up. Thanks, Melicaster, for the tip

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Nokia has announced the release dates for the Lumia 710 and 800 in Vietnam. Both handsets will go on sale and will be available on April 9th, for 6,299,000 VND and 10,599,000 VND respectively. Nokia Vietnam has listed 21 retailers to stock and ship the two Windows Phones, and all stores will be decorated in Lumia promotion material.

Unfortunately, the Vietnamese keyboard and language aren't supported by the platform, but are on the horizon (as well as Local Scout, Maps, etc.). Nokia has attempted to soften this blow by releasing Viet Keyboard, an app which provides a convenient text input solution for the Vietnamese language. 

Users are able to type as they would normally in the app and then copy the text to the clipboard, which can then be subsequently pasted elsewhere on the smartphone. Viet Keyboard will be especially useful for common tasks such as SMS, email social network posting, and web browsing.

You can download Viet Keyboard from the Marketplace (Lumia restricted). Source: Mainguyen; thanks Hoang for the tip!

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