Microsoft and its OEM partners may be planning to launch a second round of Windows Phone 7 devices during February’s Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain. According to Taiwanese publication Digitimes, which often has its finger on the pulse of the Asian consumer electronics industry, Redmond is working with Chinese manufacturers like Lenovo, Huawei, and ZTE to enable a second-half launch with Mandarin-friendly input capabilities. Moreover, Asus may use the rumored launch to out its E600 handset, a smartphone which has been in the works for over six months, and just recently lost its short term FCC confidentiality — revealing a gallery of photos plus a user manual.
While Redmond has yet to reveal initial sales figures for the nascent platform, anecdotal reports have been mixed: some source report little interest in the handsets, while other “venues” can’t seem to keep them on the shelves. Digitimes notes that Android has been making serious inroads in China, providing yet another potential barrier to entry for WP7, in one of the world’s most important markets.
Besides the HTC Trophy on Verizon and HTC 7 Pro on Sprint, US consumers are also expecting a device called the HTC 7 Melody to arrive next year, as well as a full Dell Venue Pro rollout, naturally. Current Windows Phone 7 owners can look forward to at least one, if not several, platform upgrades in the coming year as well.