Toshiba-Fujitsu's IS12T will be the first smartphone in the world to carry Microsoft's updated version of Windows Phone out of the box. And the device will only be offered in Japan, thousands of miles away from the US market where the smartphone OS wars are usually fought and won.
It's good news for all Windows Phone fans no matter where you live, though, as it would suggest the timing is on schedule for Mango's rollout.
Mango, also known as Windows Phone 7.5, will be a cataclysmic update to Microsoft's still-nascent mobile platform that launched late last year. In its brief time on the market, WP7 has managed to make significant splashes but has also suffered from bungled management and updates that were delayed an almost comical amount of time.
The IS12T will come with a 13.2-megapixel camera, a 1 GHz Snapdraggon processor, a WVGA touchscreen display, and 32 GB of built-in storage. The display will be 3.6 inches.
It was not announced whether or not the IS12T will be coming to the US, but in Japan the target date is September.
Here are a few more features that will be coming to WP7.5:
- Streaming video or music content from the phone's Web browser will continue even if users open up another app or put the phone in sleep mode.
- Expanded Xbox Live connectivity - voice chatting with other Xbox Live users, attending or hosting Xbox Live parties, and possibly even playing online Xbox 360 games in real-time with console players.
- Extremely deep Facebook integration, tying the user's login credentials directly to the phone, eliminating the need to log in over and over.
In other words, Mango looks to be one heck of an update. The only thing to worry about is whether or not the update will happen as scheduled. Microsoft hasn't exactly boasted a stellar record with Windows Phone software updates up to this point.