Tencent Tech, 2/28/11
China Unicom (NYSE: CHU; 0762.HK; 600050.SH) officially launched its Wo Phone smartphones in Beijing today, along with its Linux-based mobile OS. The first Wo Phones will hit the market in late March. The Wo Phone operating system's architecture is not related to Google's Android.
The operating system, developed independently as an open platform, can be upgraded and installed on other terminals such as tablets and TV sets.
The first batch of Wo Phone handsets from manufacturers such as Tianyu, Inventec, Motorola, Samsung, Huawei, ZTE (0763.HK; 000063.SZ), TCL Communication Technology (2618.HK), and HTC (2498.TW) were unveiled at the launch ceremony, including some WCDMA/GSM dual-mode, dual-standby handsets as well as WCDMA/WCDMA dual-standby, dual-SIM handsets.
Editor's Note: Sina Tech reported that two handsets on display had already been approved by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) for network access permits: the Tianyu U2 and the Inventec C580, which will both go on sale in late March. A representative for Chinese consumer electronics and home appliances retailer Suning (002024.SZ) said the two handsets will be available at over 300 Suning stores nationwide.
China Unicom said it will launch a developer community and mobile application download platform within the next few days. For more background on this topic, please see "China Unicom to Launch "Wo Phone" Next Week" MD 2/25/11 issue.
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