The OPhone: China's Lenovo unveils homegrown smartphone

September 16, 2009
The OPhone

Chinese high-tech giant Lenovo on Wednesday unveiled the OPhone in partnership with China Mobile, which they hope will rival Apple's widely popular iPhone.

"We hope OPhone will take at least 50 percent of China's smartphone market in three to five years," Huang Xiaoqing, president of China Mobile's Institute of Research, said at a ceremony.

The OPhone will run on an operating system developed by China Mobile and will work on the carrier's homegrown TD-SCDMA third-generation wireless technology platform.

Lv Yan, president of Lenovo Mobile, said each OPhone handset would cost more than 200 dollars to make, but the retail price would vary according to subscription plans with China Mobile.

"OPhone is China Mobile's strategy," he said.

hopes to start selling the OPhone next month in the world's largest mobile market of more than 700 million subscribers.

China Unicom last month announced a multi-year deal to sell the iPhone starting in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Unicom, which had 141 million mobile subscribers at the end of July, expects to attract high-end users with the iPhone to turn around weak performance in competition with China Mobile, which had nearly 498 million subscribers at the end of July.

But China Mobile president Wang Jianzhou said last week the carrier remained in talks with Apple over selling iPhones in China, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Visitors watch the launch ceremony for Lenovo 3G mobile phone in Beijing. Chinese cellphone maker Lenovo Mobile unveiled a smartphone in partnership with China Mobile, the world's largest wireless operator aiming to rival Apple's iPhone with a homegrown handset.

Apple's deal with Unicom is "absolutely not exclusive," and still hopes to offer iPhones in China, chairman Wang said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Dalian last week.

A stumbling block, however, is that Apple would need to modify the iPhone to work on China Mobile's TD-SCDMA platform. If not, the would only be able to run on China Mobile's slower 2G platform.

"We are still in talks" with Apple, Wang said. "We still hope to reach an agreement, so I can't say anything else."

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Report: China Mobile cool on 3G standard

Related Stories

Report: China Mobile cool on 3G standard

February 1, 2006

China's adoption of a homegrown technical standard for third-generation (3G) wireless service might not be as done a deal as the industry had assumed.

Chinese carrier in talks with Apple on iPhone

August 14, 2009

(AP) -- State-owned China Unicom Ltd. said Friday it is talking with Apple Inc. about becoming an iPhone carrier but denied a report it has reached a deal and will buy 5 million handsets.

Apple signs deal for China iPhone launch

August 27, 2009

US high-tech giant Apple and China Unicom on Friday announced they had reached a multi-year deal to launch the widely popular iPhone in the world's largest mobile market later this year.

Apple's iPhone launch in China no easy task: experts

September 6, 2009

Apple's iPhone will soon officially go on sale in China, more than two years after its US debut, but it may not make much of a splash, with smuggled units and similar devices available, analysts say.

Recommended for you

The ethics of robot love

November 25, 2015

There was to have been a conference in Malaysia last week called Love and Sex with Robots but it was cancelled. Malaysian police branded it "illegal" and "ridiculous". "There is nothing scientific about sex with robots," ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Sep 19, 2009
lol at the traditionally hilarious user interface design of chinese consumer electronics. it looks like the interface from donkey kong. like they drew every icon and graphic with an etch-a-sketch. why can't they design graphics that are appealing to the eye? clearly the device has the processing power to run prettier graphics.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.