China Unicom to launch self-branded smartphone

09:04, November 19, 2010      

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China Unicom, the country's No.2 mobile operator, said it will launch an own-brand smartphone series by the end of this year to draw more business to its third generation (3G) data network.

The Uphone would be manufactured by Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp, but pricing details and production numbers had not yet been set, Zhang Zhijiang, head of China Unicom's technology department, said Thursday.

"We haven't set prices yet because the phone will only be released at the end of this year," Zhang said.

China Unicom is the only mobile operator authorized to sell Apple Inc's iPhone in China. Bigger rival China Mobile Ltd also sells a self-branded smartphone, the Ophone.

While the iPhone has grabbed global headlines, ZTE's and Huawei's smartphones are quietly gaining a reputation for their functionality at lower costs.

Like their peers in mature markets, all the three mobile operators here are trying to attract customers to their data networks to fuel growth as revenue from voice calls falls amid rising competition.

Source: Global Times


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