By Stephen Schenck | March 5, 2012 1:19 PM
Windows Phone has been a long time coming to China, with rumors about its launch there stemming back to 2010. Recently, we’ve been seeing the situation start to make some movement, starting with rumors last fall that things were starting to come together for the introduction of the OS there. Even more recently, we saw some Chinese retailers start taking pre-orders for Windows Phone handsets, and then heard that we would likely be looking at the first one arriving sometime in March. It’s looking like that moment is nearly upon us, with the first Windows Phone for China showing up at HTC’s Beijing retail store.
There were a few manufacturers vying for the chance to bring the first Windows Phone device to China, but HTC seems to be trying to cross that line first with its Titan. That was one of the handsets featured in the pre-order advertisement we saw, where it was still listed as the Titan, but apparently it’s now taking the name Triumph for this new market. We wonder what Motorola might think about that.
We were expecting to see manufacturers really aim to keep prices down for the debut of Windows Phone in China, but that’s not the case here; HTC is taking orders for the phone at nearly $700 off-contract. That’s hardly the budget-priced Tango hardware that’s supposed to let Microsoft conquer developing markets, but we’ve yet to see how other manufacturers will price their own entries for China.
For the moment, it looks like HTC’s just taking pre-orders for the Titan/Triumph, and hasn’t actually sold any. Still, this is the first official sign of a Windows Phone not from a third-party retailer, and even without news of a release date, it’s looking good for HTC beating its competitors to the punch.