And, as we noted last week, Microsoft is also partnering with Huawei to launch the device in a number of African countries:
A customised version of Huawei's first Windows Phone 8 handset, the Ascend W1, will be the point man for Microsoft's latest push into Africa. The handset will carry the 4Afrika branding as part of the Redmond based company's drive to increase connectivity and services in the continent.
On their own none of the availability announcements would be particularly significant, but the Huawei W1 does seems to be picking up a surprising amount of momentum, lending credence to the idea that cheaper mid-tier Windows Phone devices will be critical to the growth of the platform in 2013. Mobile World Congress is likely to see the announcement of a number of devices in this category, most likely from from other Chinese manufacturers such as Lenovo, TCL, and ZTE.
One important point those considering picking up the Huawei Ascend W1 should consider is whether the 4GB of internal storage is sufficient. As we noted on the last AAWP podcast, and in our HTC 8S review, the internal memory limitations, even allowing for the microSD card slot, can be rather limiting. As such, we would not be surprised to see some 8GB variants on the Huawei W1 go on sale, making for the a better comparison with the Nokia Lumia 620, which currently holds the AAWP crown for best low cost Windows Phone device.