We’ve been waiting here in the antipodes for devices that will match the speed of our local networks. Basically we are marginalised by the fact that there is only one carrier that is offering anything above what would come down to the 3G standard. So second generation Windows Phones, which would work on every carrier in the country, have not migrated to the great southland. Why, carriers overstocked on the initial release of Windows Phone,[Telstra especially as a Microsoft Premium Partner] and did not bank on, or predict that the OS, would perform as badly as it did in sales, no one knows. If I had to sum it up, Apple and Android, were flooding the market at the time, iPhone 4 with the 4S imminent, and more Android devices than you could hang off a set of rosary beads. With constant news and updates, no matter what good press and differences in UI that could be sold, what was hot was hottest. Not to mention that the initial marketing of the OS had a life span, that was about three months.
What we see now though is a time of flux, change in the local market. Telstra has/is now sporting a new network standard, and while most of their hardware does not support their 4G/LTE upgrade, their is no reason why you cannot find out if your imported device is supported by the carrier. Today though images of an HTC Windows Phone, “The Radiant” surfaced, and it looks to be coming to Australia. That’s a rumour there is nothing solid on that, it would though explain the radio the phone is said to be shipping with, and the fact that is basically the HTC Titan with a bit of a design upgrade.
There’s the possibility of being able to change the screen resolution, adding at least one option, It may have a better resolution front facing camera, and a non removable battery. Obviously it will come with an updated OS, supporting the new radio band it offers, although that would not be a big jump and reports of an update, 7.10.8170, that have appeared today, would also support the leak. There’s a good chance that this will be the new/next Windows Phone to appear on Telstra’s inventory, superseding the Optimus 7Q [unavailable], HTC Mozart [at selected vendors who still have stock], and the HTC HD7 [which is still widely available at premium Telstra stores]. Windows Phone is the least in demand OS on the local market, but users that want the OS expect some local support. The fact that local carriers seem to have forgotten about the OS, frustrates users who take the carrier route. Buy a device, use it until it is superseded and then replace it with the upgraded model from the same carrier, extending your contract. There’s no option like that at the moment, and the lack of local support has raised a lot of ire. If the Radiant is Telstra’s upgraded Windows Phone, covering the next device release schedule, it would be a level jump, almost going to a Gen 3 phone in one step.
None of this is definite, except for the actual updates to the OS which, outside of Europe, you probably would not have seen yet. Directions are here if you want to get it now, but it’s not a vital update. What’s in the update?
- Updated the Carrier data configuration database
- Updated Radio Interface Layer, SMS & SIM drivers
- SMS & Contacts “bug” fixed
- Updated the Updater Service
- Updated the Internet Sharing Security Policy
- Updated the HowTo Application
- Fixed the Location bug where it shares your information without your knowledge in certain core apps.
- Updates to Zune & the Pictures Hub
- Updates to the Default Zune Tuner configuration
- TCP IP stack updates
- Updates to the MSHTML parser for IE9
- Updates to the Maps & Search functions
- Updates to UI framework driving the phone (Splash or UIX as some call it)
Not actually a lot that people will understand, Major things, sms bug that let a certain string of text, received, disable the messaging hub. Carrier database, put in your sim, and more will be recognised than before. GPS/Location sharing? stop sharing your location when you do not want to in certain native apps. Better map search and search. A lot of the other things will not be necessarily quantifiable as far as user experience.
The update mainly services, what will be a new wave of phones for the revamped American market, network changes, service upgrades that Microsoft have made. The Radiant is the first of what will be a range of LTE/4g devices that, will be updated to meet the new radio software standards, while Australians may take a bit longer to experience the speed updates, depending on their carrier, they can rest easy that devices will be available when they want them.
As for the Radiant, Telstra’s long relationship with HTC, would support the idea that it would be the 4G forerunner for Windows Phone on the Network. Telstra missed some great WP devices with the Radar and the Titan, but they came to hot on the heels of the HTC HD7, and due to the lack of interest in Windows Phone, it seems sane that Telstra would not bring a swathe of new WP devices. The Radiant, would bring speed and size to the Telstra line up, and Windows Phone. The deciding factor is, Telstra sells Android.