The first Windows Phone Mango handset hits the market tomorrow. The Fujitsu Toshiba IS12T has launched in Japan, available under KDDI's "au" brand. The water-resistant, dust-resistant phone sports a 13.2 MP camera and 32 GB of storage, and comes in three colors: the eye-searing citrus and magenta, and a rather more staid black. Both GSM and CDMA communications are supported.
As with most Windows Phones, the devices will include a handful of custom applications. These include DLNA media streaming, navigation, a social networking client, and a custom e-mail app.
The timing of the launch is a little surprising. The Windows Phone Marketplace only started accepting Mango submissions yesterday; there are scant few Mango-aware applications currently available, and that situation is unlikely to change substantially before the phone's release tomorrow.
No other carrier has announced any Mango devices yet, nor have any announcements been made as to when existing users will be able to upgrade. Even the imminent launch of the IS12T hasn't prompted Microsoft to be any more forthcoming with upgrade information.Mango is all but essential for phones selling to the Japanese market, as it's the first version of Windows Phone to include support for non-Latin character sets. Mango includes support for, among others, Japanese, Chinese and Korean input. This dependence is no doubt what prompted Fujitsu/Toshiba to launch with Mango rather than the current released build.
The release underscores that it's ultimately the carriers who are in charge of Windows Phone's availability. KDDI is happy that it's good enough, so is launching the phone. Everyone else just has to wait.
The software was finished weeks ago—but when it gets into users' hands is anyone's guess. One data point worth considering: build 7392, a security update for the NoDo copy-and-paste release, still isn't available universally. AT&T and Verizon are both holding back according to Microsoft. And build 7392 was released onMay 3rd. Windows Phone's users could have a long wait ahead of them.