Today, Orange has announced that it will launch a new high performance Android smartphone in Europe this summer. Powered by Intel technology, the device currently codenamed 'Orange Santa Clara,' will deliver the latest in smartphone capabilities and rich entertainment experiences to more customers.
The phone will first be available exclusively to Orange customers in the UK and France this summer, and its commercial name will be unveiled at launch.
At launch, the Orange smartphone will run Android's Gingerbread platform with a planned upgrade to Android's Ice Cream Sandwich platform shortly thereafter. The new Orange smartphone is based on Intel's smartphone reference design and is powered by the Intel Atom processor Z2460 and supports HSPA+ with the Intel XMM 6260 Platform.
Together, these Intel solutions deliver performance and energy efficiency while facilitating fast browsing and a responsive user experience, Orange claimed.
The launch of this smartphone marks a significant development in Orange's long-standing strategy to deliver phones under its own brand. Now in its tenth year, Orange has introduced affordable feature phones and smartphones to its whole customer base. These phones are differentiated by being customised with simple and relevant Orange applications and services.
Yves Maitre, senior vice president of mobile multimedia and devices, Orange, told Smart Chimps: 'We are continuing to make own-brand devices, not to challenge the likes of Samsung, but to increase innovation and choice for our customers. Our aim is not to take marketshare from other brands,' stated Maitre. 'Our aim is to innovate. Our aim is to create new options and solutions with Orange services, and we see our customers reacting well; they like what we are doing.'
Maitre stated the Intel device will be targeted at the mass market in Europe, and will be bundled into a tariff plan suited to that end of the market. 'This device has been designed from a marketing and technological perspective to reach the mass market, like the Galaxy S2, but at a more affordable price, with higher processing power,' he remarked.
Customer demand led to the doubling of Orange's own-branded portfolio in 2011, increasing volume from 7% to 15% of its total device portfolio over the year. Orange aims to increase the volume of its own-branded device portfolio to 20% in 2012, said Maitre, if customer demand continues to rise, in order to better meet its customers' needs, making innovative features, services and technologies more widely accessible.
The phone has a 4.03 inch display, slender dimensions at 123mm x 63 x 9.99, 16Gb of memory and weighs in at 117g. In addition, high-definition (HD) video will support a rich entertainment offering together with mobile HD voice for outstanding audio quality. It also boasts a camera that can take 10 pictures in under a second with eight megapixel quality to ensure customers capture all the action so they can choose the very best pictures to keep and share. Also preloaded will be a number of services unique to Orange, including Orange TV, Daily Motion, Deezer (France only), Orange Wednesdays Your Orange and Orange Gestures.
'The proliferation of smartphones has brought a wealth of new experiences. At Orange we firmly believe that all our customers should benefit from the smartphone revolution, and we remain committed to delivering innovative content and services across a wide range of devices to help customers stay connected and get more from their phone,' Maitre commented. 'For ten years, Orange has pioneered a successful own-branded approach to delivering its customers high quality, affordable handsets in all price ranges, packed with locally relevant and unique services and features. We are delighted to be partnering with Intel to add such an exceptional device to our portfolio.'
Today's announcement builds on Orange's long-standing relationship with Intel across its PC and tablet portfolio, and Orange continues to support Intel's innovation and development on convergent platforms.
'The Orange device is a fantastic example of the innovation happening on Intel's smartphone reference design,' said Mike Bell, Intel vice president and general manager of the company's mobile and communications group. 'We are pleased to extend our close collaboration with Orange to Intel-based smartphones.'