China Unicom to Launch Android-based Smartphones This Month
BEIJING, Mar 04, 2010 (SinoCast Daily Business Beat via COMTEX) --
China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited (NYSE: CHU, HKSE: 0762, and SHSE: 600050), one of the Big Three integrated telecom carriers in the country, is scheduled to roll out 3G smartphones based on the sparkling Android operating system this month, disclosed people familiar with the plan today.
The smartphones will be the first products ever released in the country to give users an access to full-page websites and Internet applications, said a source, noting that the to-be-launched products will smooth an access to networks like WCDMA, WiFi, and WAPI, simultaneously.
The Beijing-based company will put the Android-powered smartphone series up on the shelves next week, starting from XT701, a model launched by mobile phone giant Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT), according to the source.
"Motorola has gained go-ahead from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) to release XT701 in the country," said the source, "and China Unicom is well prepared to market the gadgets in its outlets online and offline."
"The Android-based smartphones will enable China Unicom to enlarge its foothold in the terminal market in the 3G era, especially in the high-end segment," pointed out a market observer, "that is why the company joined the race in the 3G mobile phone market from the very beginning, although it was authorized to market the popular iPhone from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) in the mainland."
In a bid to ramp up its position in the 3G arena, China Unicom brought the international acclaimed iPhone within the reach of Apple fans in the country at the end of October 2009, one month after its 3G network came into commercial operation.
The mobile phones to be customized for China Unicom will run the Android operating system initiated by Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), said Chang Xiaobing, chairman for the company, on the sidelines of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing yesterday, stressing that China Unicom will be open to all the mobile phone operating systems.
In January, the telecom carrier rolled out the world's first customized dual mode-mobile phone based on WCDMA and GSM, diversifying its 3G product array to get a slice of the high-end user market.
China Unicom will try to roll out a series of flagship products to court for users in the high-end market, said another source, describing the WCDMA/GSM products, iPhone, and the to-be-launched smartphones, as part of the medium- and high-end product line to be unveiled by the company.
As of January 31, 2010, the company had won 3.595 million users for its WCDMA network, said China Unicom in a report earlier, noting that growth in 3G user number has outstripped that in 2G user number for three months in a row.
(USD 1 = CNY 6.83)
Source: www.yesky.com (March 04, 2010)
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