updated 01:45 pm EST, Thu December 9, 2010
Meizu ships M9 on December 25 but not 2.3
Meizu's chief Jack Wong today said his company's M9 smartphone would ship in China on Christmas day. The Android phone widely considered to be an iPhone clone should reach Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen at the same time and will expand to other cities and countries later. Production won't be enough to cover enough people at first, he explained.
The news came somewhat in defiance of pressure from Apple, which suggested the M9 might be copying the iPhone design just as it accused the Chinese company of doing the same for the M8. Whether or not Meizu can pursue a case isn't clear, as special favors done to get iPhone design patents approved may have rendered Apple's claims invalid.
Regardless any short-term action from Apple, Wong added this week that the company plans to upgrade to Android 2.3 sometime later. Apart from the inherent optimizations, such as built-in VoIP support and easier copy-paste text, he suggested it might also bring a visual upgrade specific to the M9. The company may switch to full 32-bit color output by default.
The M9 will have performance roughly on par with the iPhone 4 when it ships, including a 1GHz processor as well as a new 960x640 Sharp display that compares very closely to the Retina Display. Local shops should be carrying it for the equivalent of $375 in an 8GB model and $405 for one with 16GB of space.