Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE has announced their second Windows Phone at Mobile World Congress today in Barcelona. The ZTE Orbit is "based on the latest version of Windows Phone" and continues the ZTE ethos of providing lower specification devices while still delivering high quality experiences. With 4GB of memory, and a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, we're expecting to see the Orbit rebranded by network operators as an entry level Windows Phone device in the pay monthly market, or as a smartly priced pay as you go handset. Availability is expected in Q2, there's no word yet on expected prices, but something around the 150 Euro mark would be our estimate.
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Today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia announced the Nokia Lumia 610, the first Tango powered Windows Phone targeted towards the lower end of the market. With 256MB of RAM and "the new software release from Microsoft" that supports lower memory and processor specs, the Lumia 610 is looking to have an impact with the younger generation. The Nokia Lumia 610 will retail for 189 Euros before taxes and subsidies, and will be available in Q2.
If you've been looking at the Nokia Lumia 900 and wondering if it's going to be available outside of America, then that wait is almost over. Rogers in Canada will be the first to pick up an LTE version, while a "world style" phone with Dual Carrier HSPA support is expected to retail for 480 Euros before taxes and subsidies, with availability during Q2 of this year.
Nokia hold their MWC press conference today, with a kick off time of 08:30 CET (7:30 GMT). We're expecting multiple device announcements from across Nokia's portfolio. From this story you can follow our live coverage, coming direct from MWC in Barcelona. You can also follow our coverage on Twitter at @aas and @AA_WP.
More than 70,000 apps have now been published in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Content is currently being added at the rate of 250 items per day. At the time of writing, 70,784 items have been published. Of these, 28,503 were added in the last 90 days and 6,936 were added in the last 30 days. These items come from 17,303 different publishers. Read on for more stats and charts.
We're pleased to announced that the official AAWP (All About Windows Phone) app is now available to download free from the Windows Phone Marketplace and aims to make it easy to access all of our content directly on your Windows Phone device. You can view our latest content, browse or search for content by section, and stream episodes of the podcast.
Nokia has published a great resource for mobile developers who are interested in transferring their skills to Symbian apps via the Qt framework. The Nokia Developer website has published three guides for finding the Qt equivalent of API calls for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7. It has come late in Symbian’s life, but it is just what the developer world needed to reduce the friction in developing for this not-so-dead platform.
Most of the numbers are now in for Q4, 2011 and, while some are estimates, we now have a pretty good idea of the state of the mobile industry for the last quarter. Phones grew 6% year on year, smartphones by a whopping 63%, with the latter now at 36% of the overall market. The top three companies were the same by either metric - Apple, Samsung and Nokia are way ahead of the rest.
The product barcode recognition portion of Windows Phone's Bing Vision service is now available in the UK. Bing Vision using the phone's camera to perform visual searches. Previously, in the UK, the service would only recognise Microsoft Tags and QR codes, but it will now recognise barcodes on books, CDs and DVDs. Once an item has been identified Bing Vision provides a link to Ciao, a price comparison website.
Nokia has released its Q4 2011 results, reporting an operating loss of €954 million, with net sales of €10.0 billion (down 21% YoY). Nokia's Devices and Services division's profits were €203 million. Margins in devices and services were 3.4% (down from 12.7 % on Q4 2010 and up from 3.1% in Q3 2011). Total smartphone device sales were 19.6 million, compared with 28.6 million units in Q4 2010 (down 31% YoY) and 16.8 million units in Q3 2011 (up 17%, QoQ).