Lumia 610 hands on

Microsoft is preparing to launch Windows Phone Tango in China on March 21st. This is huge for Microsoft because China is one of the world's largest mobile markets. Additionally, Tango will allow Chinese phone makers to create budget-friendly phones, which are currently dominating the market there. A recent report suggested that Apple has been lagging behind Chinese manufacturers ZTE and Huawei due to the higher price of its iPhone. Tango will no doubt help Microsoft compete with Android at a price point that should attract Chinese consumers.

Microsoft's Italian subsidiary recently confirmed that Windows Phone Tango will actually be called Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh, but for consistency's sake, we'll refer to it for Tango for now.

As TechCrunch pointed out on Wednesday, HTC is preparing to launch its Windows Phone-powered Triumph in China in Beijing — it's already available for pre-order and is the equivalent of the U.S. HTC Titan — and Nokia's CEO Steven Elop said his company will sell three Lumia-branded devices in China beginning on March 28th. We expect those phones to be tweaked versions of the Lumia 610, the Lumia 710 and the Lumia 800. The Lumia 610 was revealed during Mobile World Congress and will be Nokia's most entry-level Windows Phone device.

ZTE also had its Windows Phone Tango-powered Orbit handset on display during Mobile World Congress, although the company did not confirm a launch date. Worse, the phone didn't power on, so we really can't speak much to its performance. Still, ZTE should prove to be a huge player for Microsoft in China as it's the fourth largest smartphone provider there. Currently, Samsung has the top spot in the country, followed by Nokia, Huawei, ZTE and Apple, according to a recent report from Gartner.

[via TechCrunch]