Ophone handsets that can support China Mobile's TD-SCDMA 3G standard will come out this year.
China Mobile yesterday launched its own mobile phone operating system that can support its homegrown 3G standard. It's a significant move by the world's biggest wireless carrier aimed at driving up use of its 3G services by expanding handset portfolios.
The release of the long-anticipated Ophone platform, the world's first mobile phone operating system developed by a telecom carrier, and the Ophone handsets is seen by analysts as a move that could help China Mobile stabilize its slowing profit growth.
The move comes less than one week after the country's second biggest wireless carrier China Unicom clinched a deal with Apple to sell iPhones in China. It is expected to intensify competition in the country's 3G market.
"The release of the Ophone operating system is likely to dramatically cut the costs of developing TD-SCDMA handsets by mobile phone makers," said Wang Jianzhou, chairman of China Mobile. Wang added competitiveness of its 3G handsets would as a result be boosted.
The Ophone platform also fills the blanks in China's smart phone operating system, according to Lou Qinjian, vice-minister of industry and information technology.
China Mobile yesterday also showcased a slew of handsets based on the Ophone system, which were developed by mobile phone makers including Dell, Lenovo, Philips and Samsung.
The Ophone handsets that can support China Mobile's TD-SCDMA 3G standard will come out within this year, the company said, without specifying when.