A report published in Total Telecom outlined that Orange is to become the first major operator to launch its own handsets. The handsets will be based on Microsoft’s OS.
Orange spokesperson in Denmark, Linda Juul Nielsen, told Total Telecom the launch will be pan-European and will occur at the end of this month or early October. It is understood that Microsoft is preparing further joint launches with European operators throughout the autumn. Orange UK had been trialing the Smartphones 2002 handsets manufactured by Taiwanese OEM HTC.Written by W2Forum for PMN Mobile Industry Intelligence.
Orange has always had a strong brand and has been discussing its interest in customised handsets for some time on the trade conference circuit. It is one of the few operators which has managed to establish a real connection between its customers and the Orange brand. A customised handset would allow it to further its strategy of becoming a provider of ‘lifestyle services’, a vision it was expounding as far back as the 2001 GSM World Congress.
This is also evidence that Microsoft’s strategy of working with smaller OEMs to produce operator-branded handsets running Smartphones 2002 has not fallen entirely on deaf ears. HTC is making quite a name for itself as a company capable of delivering innovative device designs on an international basis, as evidenced by the XDA. There are more and more companies lining up to challenge the dominance of the handset majors by enabling operators to offer truly individual mobile devices. Nokia and Motorola won’t be worrying just yet, but Siemens, LG et al may be becoming somewhat concerned.
Originally published by PMN Mobile Industry Intelligence, the subscription-based analysis and insight platform founded by Marek Pawlowski.