China Unicom tries hand at own custom phone OS
China Unicom on Monday broadcast its plans to develop its own phone OS. Wophone, named after the company's Wo service, would run a custom version of Linux and target both smartphones and tablets. The strategy would help phones get to market faster by being already tailor-made for the Chinese, it said.
China's Android variant may run Win Mo apps
China Mobile on Tuesday made the unusual claim that its variant on Android will run Windows Mobile apps. In upgrading Open Mobile System to 2.0, the carrier said it inherited voice recognition and many of the other features of Android 2.0 but also that it will recognize the "Windows Mobile
API." It's not certain which apps for the Microsoft OS, if any, will work in OMS' current form.
Lenovo still on track for Android phone
Lenovo today said (registration that its LePhone Android phone is still on track in spite of Google's controversial anti-censorship move in China. Officials at Lenovo still anticipate a release to China in May and also revealed that the touchscreen smartphone will reach other areas later in the year. Many of the apps will and interface will be tailored to the Chinese audience when it ships.
Motorola MT710 due in China on December 28th
Motorola will officially begin selling its MT710 Zhiling smartphone in China later this month under the China Mobile Ophone brand. The device is similar to what North Americans know as the Android-powered Droid, and has been spotted earlier. The Chinese Motorola handset will not use stock Android, however, but instead a proprietary version of the open source OS created by China Mobile, along with supporting China's own 3G standard, TD-SCDMA.
Lenovo wants full stake in smartphones
Lenovo today said it would buy back Lenovo Mobile, its previously separate cellphone business. The deal, worth $200 million in cash and shares, brings back a division that the company had sold off just last year in a bid to save money. In justifying the reversal, the computer maker said that PCs are converging with smartphones and that there would be a "significant growth opportunity" to have a stake in handheld devices.
Dell Mini 3i ships with unfair edge
Dell's Mini 3i is shipping to China with a possible unfair competitive advantage against the iPhone. The Android phone should be available by the end of the month through China Mobile's retail partners and later through Dell's own site. As expected, it will drop 3G and Wi-Fi due to the government-backed carrier's preferences but will still have a 640x360 capacitive touchscreen, GPS, Bluetooth and microSDHC storage.
Dell's smartphone may be upgraded for US
An apparent scoop suggests Dell has decided to bring its Mini 3i to the US after all, but not in its original form. A contact claims it's due in the "next few months" but that it will be an upgraded version of what was shown recently in China. Build quality should improve, but it would also upgrade from a 3-megapixel camera to a 5-megapixel model.
iPhone in China a "starting gun"
The launch of the iPhone in China could be instrumental to the growth of smartphones in the entire world, according to an estimate by iSuppli. The threat of an officially sanctioned iPhone on China Unicom is believed to be a "starting gun" for China and has already spurred the government-backed carrier China Mobile to introduce its rival Ophone platform, which combines touchscreen phones with a custom Android operating system that shows strong influences from the iPhone. The competition is expected to spike Chinese smartphone sales by 42.5 percent in 2010 to 30.2 million.
Dell Ophone named
A report from earlier this week had Dell's smartphone launching in China this week. A new, Tuesday report backs up those rumors, and goes on to unveil the name of the device. To be called mini3i, the device will launch at China Mobile. Sold under the Ophone brand, the carrier plans to add rebadged devices from other manufacturers under the new name.
Lenovo OPhone specs leaked
Some basic specifications have emerged on the still-unnamed Lenovo handset and is due to use Google's Android operating system. The touchscreen handset is now known to sport a five-megapixel camera with autofocus, flash and video-recording capabilities. While it's not yet clear if or how much onboard memory is present, the handset will have a microSD memory card slot for expansion. The previously guessed at input method will consist of an English/Chinese virtual keyboard. Bluetooth 2.0 will be integrated as well.