updated 03:50 pm EDT, Tue May 26, 2009
HTC Android due in China
Taiwan's handset manufacturer HTC is due to release an Android-powered smartphone in China in June, its chief executive Peter Chou told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. The phone will be a version of the Magic, the second Android-powered handset from HTC that went on sale in Europe recently, although with custom software from China Mobile, the world's biggest wireless provider, at about 500 million subscribers. With the Magic, HTC hopes to double its China sales to 1.6 million.
The Chinese version of the Magic, whatever its name will be once it launches, is estimated to cost the equivalent of $730 with China Mobile, Chou said, though this is not yet official. He added that HTC may also offer Android phones to the other state-owned providers in China, namely China Telecom and China Unicom, all of which rely on 3G networks.
The HTC Magic, and other handsets running on the custom Google-developed operating system, are likely to be called OPhones by the provider, in reference to the Open Mobile System (OMS) platform that will provide an open-source platform for China's phones. Lenovo has been rumored to offer its own OMS-based handset in China this month, though it's running out of time for such a launch.