“Google is set to go head-to-head with Apple in China as the country’s largest mobile operator prepares to launch a range of customised smartphones based on Google’s Android operating system,” Kathrin Hille reports for The Financial Times.
“China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, will fire the opening shot in a battle for high-value subscribers with the launch of the 3G OPhone, which runs the Android source code,” Hille reports.
MacDailyNews Take: 3G OPhone? Shouldn’t the proper rip-off be “oPhone 3G?” China Mobile could send out a press release proclaiming “We’re derivative losers!” but it’d be less effective at delivering the message than them trying to market a “3G OPhone.”
Hille continues, “The launch of the OPhone by China Mobile comes as smaller rival China Unicom is nearing an exclusive agreement with Apple to sell the iPhone in China for three years. A deal with Apple would give China Unicom a powerful tool to poach young mobile users from the market leader.”
“The OPhone, the first of China Mobile’s 3G smartphones, is made by Lenovo Mobile . The OPhone could launch as early as next week provided the marketing is ready, sources close to Lenovo Mobile said,” Hille reports.
“Apple held talks with China Mobile about potential iPhone distribution in the past, but the two could not agree on how to share revenues,” Hille reports. “China Unicom, the country’s second wireless operator, last week denied Chinese media reports that it had sealed a deal with Apple, but said there had been progress in the talks. Unicom is expected to offer the device when it launches its country-wide 3G services in September or October.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Wáng meets his friend on the street, sees him poking at a handheld device, and asks excitedly, “Hey, Zhāng, you got a new iPhone?!” Zhāng replies sheepishly, “No… this is an OPhone.” Wáng apologizes, “O? Oh, sorry.” Zhāng, beginning to slink away, says, “Not half as sorry as I am.”