Nokia to launch Windows Phone 7 handsets for China in first half of 2012

ZTE plans to launch Windows Phone 7 handset in this year's third quarter

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Nokia plans to launch a Windows Phone 7 handset for the Chinese market in the first half of this year, positioning itself to be among the first companies to officially bring Microsoft's mobile OS to the country, a Nokia spokesman said Friday.

But spokesman MC Cong declined to give details of the handset.

Chinese handset maker ZTE also plans on launching a Windows Phone 7 handset for China, but not until the third quarter, company spokeswoman Chen Zhengying said Friday.

Microsoft has yet to officially launch Windows Phone 7 in mainland China, but has said its mobile OS will finally arrive in China during the first half of the year.

For Nokia, the launch of Windows Phone 7 handsets in China could help the company boost sales against Android devices and Apple's iPhone. Although Nokia still had the largest smartphone market share in China at 28% during last year's third quarter, that figure used to be at 70% in 2010, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

Last year, Nokia unveiled its first Windows Phone 7 handsets, which have now started to sell in Europe and the U.S. ZTE has also already launched a Windows Phone 7 handset, called the ZTE Tania, in Europe.

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