4 August 09
Worldâ€™s first Welsh language mobile phone launched
- Orange and Samsung join forces to put Welsh language on a mobile phone for the first time
- The innovative phone includes never-before-available features including menus and predictive text in Welsh
- The phone and service will be available exclusively through Orange from September
- Walesâ€™ Minister for Heritage, Alun Ffred Jones and S4C Presenter, Alex Jones joined Orange and Samsung to unveil the phone at The National Eisteddfod of Wales
Orange, in partnership with Samsung, will make mobile phone history with the introduction of the worldâ€™s first Welsh language handset. The S5600 will be available exclusively on Orange from 1st September 2009.
The phone, unveiled for the first time today at The National Eisteddfod of Wales, will be available on both Pay Monthly and Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) and is a major step forward in providing Welsh speakers with choices theyâ€™ve never had before.
Sian Doyle, Head of Retail, Orange, said:
â€œOrange is really proud to be the first network to introduce this truly innovative service to Welsh speakers. This initiative is part of a broader commitment by Orange to provide Welsh speakers with more choice. We already include the Welsh language in our stores via bilingual signage, Welsh speaking advisors and other initiatives. The Welsh market is a vibrant and exciting marketplace and we hope that new initiatives like this and the opening of our first community concept store in Monmouth will ensure that Orange becomes the best loved telecommunications company in Wales.â€
Specific software was created by Samsung to bring this initiative to life which includes 44,000 plus Welsh words on the device.
Mark Mitchinson, Vice President, Samsung Mobile, UK and Ireland said:
â€œThis is another first for Samsung Mobile following the launch of the Irish language phone in 2008. Yet again it proves that Samsung is at the forefront of market driven change. We feel extremely proud and deeply honoured to be part of this ground breaking initiative and confident that, through partnership with Orange, we will truly delight our Welsh speaking customers by providing a mobile phone with widget, excellent camera functionality and full internet browsing capabilities. This is a real plus for social networking enthusiastsâ€
Alun Ffred Jones, Walesâ€™ Minister for Heritage, who took part in the announcement at The National Eisteddfod of Wales today, said:
â€œI would like to congratulate Orange and Samsung for voluntarily developing a handset with a Welsh interface and also offers a Welsh predictive texting facility. This development shows that they recognise not only the benefits of offering services through the medium of Welsh but also the importance of responding to the needs of their customers here. Itâ€™s important to be able to have services and technology available in the language so that people can live their lives through the medium of Welsh. â€
Meri Huws, chair of the Welsh Language Board said:
â€œThe Board congratulates Orange and Samsung on the launch of this handset, which is a very big step forward for Welsh and mobile phones. The way that people communicate is constantly changing â€“ it is important that people can use Welsh as easily as they can use English and they can now do that for the first time on this great new phone from Orange and Samsung. We hope that other handset manufacturers and mobile phone companies will follow the exciting example set by Orange and Samsung.â€
S4C Presenter, Alex Jones, the face of programmes including Hip neu Sgip and Chwa! said she was delighted to support this new initiative:
â€œThis really is such an amazing idea from Orange and Samsung, itâ€™s perfect for people like me who do a lot of our conversing in Welsh.
â€œThings like typing and sending text messages are so much easier on this phone as opposed to the issues we all face with English-only phones. I know all my friends will want to get hold of one of these phones as soon as they're in the shops.â€
The Samsung S5600 will be available for free on 24 month Orange contracts at Â£19.57 per month or at Â£14.98 per month (with a Â£9.50 upfront fee). It will also be available for Â£129.00 on Orange Pay As You Go (subject to a Â£10 top-up when purchased).
The handset will initially be made available in Welsh stores before being rolled out beyond Wales and online.
Visit Orange shops, Orange.co.uk or Samsungmobile.co.uk for more information.
Orange is the key brand of the France Telecom Group, one of the worldâ€™s leading telecommunications operators. With 123 million customers, the Orange brand now covers Internet, television and mobile services in the majority of countries where the Group operates.
At the end of 2008, France Telecom had consolidated sales of 53.5 billion euros (12.7 billion euros for the first quarter of 2009) and at 31st March 2009, the Group had a customer base of almost 184 million customers in 32 countries. These include 123 million mobile customers worldwide and 13 million broadband Internet (ADSL) customers in Europe. Orange is the number three mobile operator and the number one provider of broadband Internet services in Europe and, under the brand Orange Business Services, is one of the world leaders in providing telecommunication services to multinational companies. In the UK, Orange provides high quality GSM coverage to 99% of the UK population and was ranked number 1 best network for 3G coverage by Ofcom in July 2009. At the end of March 2009, Orange had almost 17 million customers in the UK â€“ 15.8 million active mobile customers and close to one million fixed broadband customers.
Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trade marks of Orange Personal Communications Services Limited.
For more information: www.orange.com, www.francetelecom.com, www.orange-business.com For further information, call the Orange press office on 0870 373 1500 or email: Orangepr@golinharris.com or visit www.orange.co.uk/newsroom
About Samsung Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2008 consolidated sales of US$96 billion. Employing approximately 150,000 people in 134 offices in 62 countries, the company consists of two business units: Digital Media & Communications and Device Solutions. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory chips, mobile phones and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.
About Samsung Mobile UK
- Samsung Mobile division manufactures and markets a wide range of mobile telecommunications products across pre-pay and post-pay markets, in both the consumer and business segments
- Samsung mobile phones are divided into six major categories â€“ Style, Infotainment, Multimedia, Connected, Essential and Business and is headed up by Vice President Mark Mitchinson
- The Mobile division is part of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2006 parent company sales of US$63.4 billion and net income of US$8.5 billion
- For more information, please visit www.samsungmobile.co.uk
Press release: Products & Services
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