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Will 'Mango' Windows Phones Be Ready in August?

One of the Windows Phone 7 devices shown running the "Mango" release at the 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference last week may be up for sale in Japan by late August.

If a Japanese newspaper's account holds true, that would put the phone out ahead of the fall release schedule that Microsoft officials have offered for the Mango, aka 7.5, update to Windows Phone 7. As if beating a ship date target wouldn't be jolting enough, the phone is also waterproof and, apparently, pink.

According to the Japanese newspaper Nikkei (via engadget), Fujitsu will offer the first Mango device called the IS12T for $378 to $505 on the KDDI network in Asia.

Given that current Windows Phone 7 devices will be upgradeable to Mango, it seems possible that the device could ship before the phone OS is actually ready.

The device from Fujitsu is one of four Windows phones displayed on stage during a WPC keynote last week by Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president of Microsoft's OEM Division.

HTC, LG, Samsung and Dell have all made Windows Phone 7 devices, and all but Dell have publicly committed to making devices for Mango. But the Mango release will feature three new manufacturers: Fujitsu, Acer and ZTE.

Mango at WPC
Microsoft OEM Chief Steve Guggenheimer shows off Windows Phone "Mango" devices at WPC. The pink one on the table from Fujitsu could ship as soon as August.

Last week, Guggenheimer showed devices from each of the three new manufacturers running live Mango builds. Of the IS12T, he said, "I think this Fujitsu brings a little bit of lightheartedness and life along with a waterproof design. Great capability in terms of the camera."

Guggenheimer said Acer "brings one of the large OEM brands into the phone space" and ZTE "brings one of the largest manufacturers in the phone space"  into the Windows Phone world.

He also showed for the first time the next-generation Samsung device. "It's very thin and light, and that's the theme you're going to see as the processors get thinner and better battery life. As the screens get better, we're going to see phenomenal screen resolutions, great battery life, lightweight devices across the phone," Guggenheimer said.

Also hard at work on Mango devices are the engineers at Nokia, which is transitioning from the Symbian platform to Windows Phone Mango. Nokia plans a limited release of Windows phones in the fall and full-scale production in 2012 (read "Nokia: Yes, We'll Have a Windows Phone in the Fall").

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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