With partners China Unicom and retailer Suning, Nokia’s Erik Bertman today launched the Nokia Lumia 1020 in China.
The handset is set to retail unlocked for RMB 5,999 ($973), which is about the same price as an unlocked 32GB iPhone 5.
China Unicom will however make a package available where the device will cost 999 yuan ($163) and then 386 yaun ($63) over 3 years. The camera grip will cost 499 yaun ($81.50).
The handset will also eventually become available on China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier.
China is currently the world’s biggest smartphone market – hopefully they have enough consumers to support the high price tag of the gadget.
Unwiredview.com reports that Nokia’s current flagship, the Nokia Lumia 1020, will be heading to China on the 15th of August, even before the device hits European markets.
Online retailer ePrice is already listing the handset, for the rather pricy 5,990 CNY ($978, €736) on the GSM China Unicom network.
The much more affordable Nokia Lumia 625 is also listed by Nokia China, but without a release date.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 should hit Europe some time in the September to October time frame.
WPDang reports that the China Unicom version of the Nokia Amber update for the Nokia Lumia 820 and 920 is now also available to download.
The update has all the expected features except of course Datasense, which is even now only on a limited number of carriers.
As usual we do not recommend flashing your handset, due to the risk of data loss, but if you are bold (or foolhardy) read more about the download and Installation at WPDang.
As reported earlier, LiveSino.net reports that the Nokia Lumia 925 has been officially launched in China.
The handset was launched at a Beijing event and will go on sale early in July.
The handset will be available on China Mobile and China Unicom and will cost 3999 RMB Yuan/$650 USD via all channels.
At the event Nokia also announced all Lumia 925 buyers will get a free 3-month subscription for Sohu movie service.
Nokia was also making Qi wireless charging stations available at Air China VIP lounges in Beijing airport starting July.
A limited edition Superman branded Lumia 925 suite is available for pre-order on JD.com store online.
Nokia has made the TD-SCDMA version of the Nokia Lumia 925 official.
The handset now appears on their website, with the launch date set for the 17th June.
The handset will be available in black, white and gray and the first 925 customers will get a Superman “Man of Steel” case due to Nokia’s cross-promotion with this movie.
The GSM version of the handset for China Unicom will also hit the market at the same time.
Via GSMInsider.com, thanks Sky for the tip.
Nokia and China Unicom jointly launched the Nokia Lumia 520 in Hangzhou , China yesterday.
Nokia’s cheapest WP8 Lumia yet will be selling for 1,298 Yuan ($206) and will be compatible with China Unicom’s new 3.5 G network, which offers download speeds of up to 21 MB/sec.
”With the fastest 3G network in China, we will expand business and market share through more cooperation with overseas brands, like Nokia,” said Zhou Youmeng, China Unicom’s marketing director.
China Unicom, China’s second largest network, expects to boost its 3G phone sales to 90 million this year, a 50% increase as it rolls out its faster network to more than 330 cities now.
The company will support the network with the release of a number of 3.5 G handsets, including the Nokia Lumia 720, which should also hit the carrier for around 2499 Yuan.
Both the Nokia 520 and 720, in their TD-SCDMA 520T and 720T variants, are also heading to China Mobile, China’s largest carrier, where they will retail for around the same price.
Nokia’s Chinese range can be seen here.
It seems it is not only China Mobile which sees value in heavily subsidizing the Nokia Lumia 920.
Win8China reports that China Unicom has also revealed its on-contract price for the handset, which starts from free on a two or 3 year contract (386 Yuan ($62) for 2 year contracts or 286 Yuan ($46) for 3 year contract).
The prices are even more attractive than China Mobileâ€™s which offer the handset free on a 388 Yuan ($62) two year contract.
With prices like these, the potential for rather large sales in Q1 2013 is pretty high.
Microsoft and China Unicom have announced a partnership to boost Windows Phone in the country.
Stephen Elop, chief executive officer of Nokia, this week said China has already become the world’s largest market for Windows Phone devices and the biggest single-country market for Nokia’s Lumia smartphone series. The OS currently holds a 3% market share there, according to according to Beijing-based research company Analysys International.
China Unicom and Microsoft officials said the new Windows alliance will lead to the development of more innovative devices and attract more partners.
Lu Yimin, general manager of China Unicom, said Windows Phone devices give users a large variety of choices. He said China Unicom, which has more than 70 million subscribers to its third-generation, or 3G, network, will help promote more products using the Windows system.
Microsoft will put more resources into technical support, schedule more regular training sessions and place a greater emphasis on marketing promotions, Turner said.
"China is the No 1 market worldwide in terms of PC, tablet,mobile and Internet users," Kevin Turner, chief operating officer of Microsoft, said at a news briefing in Beijing on Thursday. "It is a very exciting place."
"We believe there is a great opportunity across the country to provide new business models to partners, new technologies to developers and best services to customers,"he said.
Seven cell phone manufacturers, including Nokia Corp, HTC Corp and Samsung Group, and the chipset makers Qualcomm Inc and Intel Corp, will be among the first members of the alliance.
Ji Chendong, telecom analyst at KPMG China, said he is confident the alliance will give sales of Windows Phone devices a boost next year.
Ray Yam, president of HTC China, said it would take less time for Windows Phone devices to realize explosive growth than Android smartphones.
"Circumstances have changed," Yam said.
"The well-developed network infrastructure and higher smartphone penetration rate in China have both laid a good foundation for Windows Phone handsets."
Read more at China Daily
There is some indication that China is already one of the biggest markets for Windows Phone, with AdDuplex noting the country had 13% of Windows Phone usage, vs only 14% for US.
With the influx of new Windows Phones this trend is likely to continue. HTC has announced that both the HTC 8X and HTC 8S will be released in Mid-December and, a bit like the US, the handset will also be widely available on the countries major carriers, with variants becoming available on China Unicom (WCDMA ), China Telecom (CDMA2000 ) and China Mobile (TD-SCDMA ).
Pricing has not been revealed yet.
Samsung and Microsoft today launched the Samsung Omnia M in China.
The Tango handset is Samsungâ€™s first Chinese Windows Phone and sports a 4 inch Super AMOLED screen, 5 megapixel rear and VGA front camera and comes with Samsungâ€™s ChatOn service and also QQ and Sina..
A version was shown for both China Mobileâ€™s TD-SCDMA 3G network, and for China Unicom.
The specs for both carriers are also slightly different.
While both devices will have a 1 Ghz processor, 384 MB RAM and 1500 mAh battery, China Unicomâ€™s Omnia M has 8 GB of storage space, while China Mobileâ€™s only has 4.
Samsung suggests the OMNIA M is designed for younger, white-collar urban users, with extensive integration of various types of social networks and full support for multimedia entertainment applications, and great sharing features.
The pricing were unfortunately not revealed.
Thanks Arun for the tip.
Stephen Elop has let it slip that the Nokia Lumia 610 will soon be available on China Unicom, Chinaâ€™s second largest carrier, a promotion form China Telecom, the 3rd biggest.
During a conference call he said:
â€œWeâ€™re in the very early days in China with the Lumia product line, and we are quite pleased about whatâ€™s going on in China right now. Itâ€™s complicated, because you have to engage in, for example, the operator discussions with the low price operator rate plan bundling that is going on. And we are very pleased that even with the price point of the Lumia 610, for the first time, we broke through there, and now are part of some of those plans with China Unicom. Which is something three months ago we havenâ€™t achieved.â€
As per the statement, the handset will now be offered bundled with cheap data plans, despite the phone actually being relatively expensive for the Chinese market.
Stephen Elop has said it will concentrate on important markets like USA, UK and China, making it also encouraging news that they feel they are achieving some traction there.
It is one thing to hear analysts say Androidâ€™s best growth days may be over, but it is another to hear it directly from a company who are putting their money where their mouth is.
At the launch of the ZTE Tania in China ZTE Executive Vice-President He Shiyou said:
"The market share of Android-based phones has almost hit its peak, while the Windows devices have been gaining momentum since the fourth quarter of last year."
He said the move to Windows Phone was part of their overall plan to diversify their line, and that they expect to sell 30 million smartphones this year, 10% of them Windows Phones.
ZTE is current the worldâ€™s 4th largest phone manufacturer and will debut the ZTE Tania V965W this month in China, joining 5 other Windows Phones from HTC and Nokia.
"The Windows devices have been given a warm welcome in the Chinese market since March," added Tommy Wen, vice-president of Microsoft China Co Ltd, at the same launch on Friday, saying he expected handsets from Samsung to join the party also.
He also said Microsoft is currently discussing the possibility of creating an alliance with the world’s biggest WCDMA network operator, China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd, to collectively promote Windows Phone devices.
He Shiyou â€˜s view of Androidâ€™s future echoes that held by IDC, who said they expect Androidâ€™s market share growth to reverse this year, and Windows Phone to overtake iOS market share by 2016.
China just got another Windows phone, with the ZTE Tania launching on China Unicom.
The handset has been re-branded the ZTE V965W will be running on the CDMA network and will retain the 512 MB RAM and bizarrely low 4 GB storage, backed by a 1.4 Ghz processor.
The handset also has a 5 megapixel camera and a 1400 mAh battery.
Read more at WPDang here.
Thanks Arun for the tip.
The Sony Ericsson Aspen is Sony Ericssonâ€™s latest attempt at a Windows Mobile handset, and like most new Windows Mobile handsets in 2010 is more directed at the business user than the consumer market.
The handset has as of yet not seen wide release, but has turned up in a pretty unusual location.
The Windows Mobile 6.5.3 handset will form part of China Unicomâ€™s low cost smartphone portfolio of devices costing less than CNY 10,000, and will be involved in an aggressive promotional campaign starting tomorrow, June 25th.
The campaign is meant to boost the adoption of 3G in the country, a technology relatively new to the continent, according to Yu Yingtao, general manger for the China Unicom sales division.
See more about the Sony Ericsson M1i at Sony Ericssonâ€™s site here.
Android was meant to be a free, open source OS, but of course it has always solidly been under the thumb of Google. This has been demonstrated consistently through the lack of multi-touch on high profile phones in the US, and of course withholding updates from some handsets.
The latest evidence for Googleâ€™s iron grip on the supposed open source OS has been Googleâ€™s announcement that they would delay the release of two handsets running Android and Motorola on the China Unicom network.
"The launch we have been working on with China Unicom has been postponed," said a Google spokesperson.
Googleâ€™s behaviour in this matter will come as a surprise to phone OEMâ€™s, who had earlier expressed the view that Android handsets would not be affected by this spat between Google and China.
â€œAndroid uses a Android phone operating system, but that does not mean that Google’s Android on behalf of all the due, due, and Android is not related to R & D department in the country, so China’s launch of Google Android will not have much of impact.â€ said HTCâ€™s Chinese CEO Mr. Chen Jinghong, it now appears optimistically.
It does however prove that relying on the supposedly free and open source operating system is not a safe bet from interference from the sponsoring company, and serves to level the playing field between the supposed free OS and proprietary solutions such as Windows Mobile, which has traditionally been strong in the region.
Read more at the BBC here.
The announcement was made at the 2010 Communications Industry Technology Annual Conference currently underway in Beijing, where he said 8% of their 3G handset procurements will be Windows Mobile handsets, while 4% will be iPhones.
China Unicom is the exclusive carrier for the iPhone in China, where the handset has been rumoured to be struggling to hit sales targets.
Read more at Marbridge Consulting here.