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.
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.
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.
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).
Sisvel International, a specialist company in managing intellectual property and maximizing the value of patent rights, has bought more than 450 patents originally filed by Nokia. 350 of these cover essential parts of the 2G (GSM), 3G (UMTS/WCDMA) and 4G (LTE) technologies. The other 100 or so cover video encoding optimization technologies. The acquired patents remain subject to certain prior agreements and Nokia is pre-licensed for all the patents as part of the acquisition.
We've gotten used to all our phones now coming with Gorilla Glass, meaning no more casual scratches and no need for screen protectors. Well, 'Gorilla Glass 2' has now been announced by Corning, its creators, at CES 2012, scheduled to start going into smartphones towards the end of the year, and claimed to be 20% thinner yet as tough as the original, meaning that screens can be brighter and more sensitive when used with capacitive touch technology.
Anecdotally, the Proporta chargers have been hugely popular amongst my Phones Show viewership and 'All About' readers generally - and there's a new monster version now available, clocking in at a stunning 7000mAh. The Turbocharger 7000 has two USB output ports as usual, along with a facelifted exterior, weighs only 175g, and comes with charging heads for all major phone and gadget ports and a carrying case. Watch this space for a full review.
Everyone's favourite flight simulator for Windows Phone, Infinite Flight, just got itself a big update, v2.1 (changelog below), adding in two major new planes as well as a number of enhancements and fixes. You can grab the update yourself by going into 'Marketplace' on your Windows Phone and looking for 'Updates' at the bottom of the home screen.
Revealed in one of the launch videos for the Nokia Lumia 800 were screens of the generic Nokia Maps for Windows Phone, the software that will be made available to all Windows Phone licensees as part of the agreement between Nokia and Microsoft. We've shown the relevant images below, along with the full video - suffice it to say that Nokia Maps is effectively Bing Maps on steroids, but keeping away from the real time sat-nav features of Nokia Drive.