US Cellular starts selling ZTE-made Windows Phone device

In February, the Chinese-based company ZTE officially announced its first Windows Phone-based smartphone, the ZTE Orbit. It's been a while since it was announced, but now there's word that the smartphone is finally available for sale in the US.

US Cellular, without any fanfare, has posted up word that it has a Windows Phone 7.5 product from ZTE available for its customers for $79.99, after a $100 mail in rebate and with a contract. It's called the ZTE Render, and it appears to be the same product as the ZTE Orbit, just with a new brand name.

The ZTE Render has the Tango 2 build of Windows Phone 7.5 installed, with a four inch screen, a 1 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, four GB of storage and a five megapixel rear camera. In other words, this is definitely an entry level Windows Phone product.

This will likely be the last "new" smartphone released in the US with Windows Phone 7.5 installed out of the box. Microsoft and its hardware partners such as Nokia, Samsung and HTC are expected to launch Windows Phone 8-based devices in the next few weeks, perhaps in early November.

Via: WPCentral.com
Source: US Cellular | Image via US Cellular

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5 Comments

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mrp04 said,
Pass on WP7.X. Don't buy one if you expect to get any new worthwhile apps in 6 months time.

no so sure, there is a big market for cheap ass 'smartphones', lookat the android market with bottom range phones still selling and no way of upgrading past 2.3!

As far as apps go, contracts still need to run out and people will still have WP phones pre 8. All 7/7.5 apps work on 8 but not the other way, so it makes sense that while things are transitioning apps will still be made for 7x OS and deva will monitor trends.

Meanwhile phones can be sole to the bargain basement crowd just like they are now to the android bargain basementcrowd

mrp04 said,
Pass on WP7.X. Don't buy one if you expect to get any new worthwhile apps in 6 months time.

Not everyone wants a 2 year contract or to spend £400-500 on a top of the range smartphone. This has its place even if it can't run the latest OS.

mrp04 said,
Pass on WP7.X. Don't buy one if you expect to get any new worthwhile apps in 6 months time.

Not everyone buys their phone for apps. Some just want a phone that does the basic things simple and fast. Windows Phone is perfect for those kind of mainstream consumers.

On top of that WP7 is stil getting apps. And why not? They are compatible with WP8. So developers interested in phones but not interested in tablets are better off developing for WP7. They have a choice, develop for WP7/WP8 or for WP8/Windows8. In some parts of the world tablets are unpopular, developers in those regions will develop for WP7.

It is rumored that Nokia will also release more cheap WP7 devices as well support WP7 with apps. Especially in growing markets there is a huge demand for cheap devices. Right now phones running Android 2.2/2.3 are stil being sold by the millions. Most of these phones are slow because Android is to heavy for its hardware. WP7's are always smooth so I can see WP7 becomming popular by word of mouth.

Its all about the mindset. Once there are a lot of (cheap) Windows Phones out there, people will start to recognize them just like they recognize the green robot. Add flagships like the Lumia 920 and the 8X, the now mature ecosystem and you have a recipe for succes. Stores will offer more support for WP as interest grows among consumers. More phones in stores, means more phones sold, means more phones produced, means even more phones in stores, means even more phones sold, etc.