Orange launches a trio of ownbranded phones, including its first 4G handset

At this rate, there won't be anything left to announce when MWC actually opens its doors. Today's premature launcher is Orange Europe, which is launching a trio of Jelly Bean-running smartphones that are destined for the continent. First up, the Lumo is the company's first 4G smartphone, packing a 4.5-inch display and an 8-megapixel camera. If you prefer your devices to be on the skinny side, then the 4.7-inch San Remo comes with an 8.2mm thick body and similarly equipped imaging sensor. Finally, the budget-focused Nivo offers a 4-inch display and a 5-megapixel camera. Orange has already told us that it won't be coming to the UK, but should arrive in Romania, Slovakia and Spain across the first half of the year -- unless someone's lawyers decide that the Lumo name's a bit too close for comfort.

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New Orange smartphones add to growing own device range which now has the fastest growing market share across Orange's European footprint

The first Orange 4G phone, Orange Lumo, the affordable Orange Nivo, and the large-screen 4.7" Orange San Remo to be available in select markets from H1 2013
Orange's own smartphone range grew rapidly throughout 2012, with sales increasing by 62%, and market share increasing by 77% across Europe
Orange's own devices now represent the fastest growing smartphone range in our portfolio

Today, Orange is announcing the addition of three smartphones to its Orange own-brand device range, including its first 4G and large touchscreen smartphones. The phones are the latest additions to a portfolio which is becoming increasingly popular for Orange customers and combines a rich user experience and the best value for customers.

The Orange own-brand device range has grown steadily in recent years to make up a significant proportion of overall Orange phone sales. Today, Orange is building on that success and aggressively developing its smartphone portfolio. With Orange smartphone sales growing by 62% and market share growing by 77% in 2012, Orange smartphones represent the fastest growing range of devices within our portfolio by market share growth.

"All of our customers around the world, from Bordeaux to Bucharest, are hungry for sophisticated yet affordable mobile phones that allow them to reap the benefits of the mobile internet," said Yves Maitre, Senior Vice President of Mobile Multimedia and Devices, Orange. "The growth of our portfolio and, most importantly, the response from our customers, shows that our strategy is resonating in the highly competitive smartphone market that we're operating in today."

In Spain, the Orange Monte Carlo was the top selling phone throughout 2012, and Orange's devices made the top 10 in the UK, France and Romania with the Orange Dallas and Orange Sydney. The success of these phones illustrates the fact that customers are seeking options in addition to the wide range of phones sold by Orange from traditional device manufacturers.

The three smartphones that Orange is launching represent the breadth of devices that Orange customers are seeking, from high-end 4G devices for demanding customers to powerful entry-level smartphones for those seeking an affordable device without compromising on experience. The new smartphones that Orange is introducing for customers are:

Orange Lumo

- The first ever 4G Orange Smartphone, with super-fast LTE connection speeds, 4.5" screen, 8MP camera, and running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)

Orange San Remo

- The first large format Orange smartphone, featuring 4.7" display and slim design at only 8.2mm thickness, 8MP camera and running Android 4.1(Jelly Bean)

Orange Nivo

- Orange smartphone targeting youth and first smartphone markets featuring 4" display, 5MP camera, and running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)

"Orange's strategy of selling its own branded devices at affordable prices sets a very good benchmark for all industry players," said Francisco Jeronimo, Research Director, European Mobile Devices, IDC. "When consumers' needs are thoroughly understood, there is still room in the market to create value in all segments. These three new smartphones show Orange's strong commitment to innovation and will provide customers with a differentiated experience."

The smartphones will be launching from H1 across a number of Orange markets including Romania, Slovakia and Spain (not all countries will carry all three devices). Pricing will be announced with local availability, but will be in line with previous Orange smartphone pricing and tariffs. All three devices will be on display at Mobile World Congress 2013, and can be seen at the Orange booth Hall 5 Stand 5H110.

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Orange's Europe-bound trio of branded phones includes its first 4G handset