Exclusive : ZTE "Evaluating" Gingerbread For Orange San Francisco

The Orange San Francisco or ZTE Blade is certainly one of the more popular Android smartphones on the market right now judging by the number of search requests that it gets on Google, and the buzz on deals forums each time its price drops.

However, one of the main criticisms surrounding the handset is the lack of clear update strategy for the phone from the manufacturer, ZTE. There are already some unofficial, unsupported Gingerbread upgrades but we saw it fit to ask ZTE to comment on any forthcoming updates to OSF.

A spokesperson for the company told us "At this stage ZTE is evaluating the possibility of upgrading the Orange San Francisco (aka Blade) offering the UK customer the Gingerbread OS in 2H 2011. There are no plans to move forward on the Gingerbread OS in the UK as yet."

The phone is currently on the market for as little as £68 direct from Orange for its customers, a drop of around 40 per cent from its original selling price.

ZTE confirmed last month that the Skate, the bigger brother of the Blade, would be coming to the UK market in the second half of 2011. Like the Blade, it will be based on the MSM7227, although it will be clocked at 800MHz instead.

The main difference will be the screen size, 4.3-inch and the camera resolution - five megapixel with a LED flash. ZTE has also confirmed that it will be running on Gingerbread from day one.