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China Mobile Shows Off First Ophones

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China Mobile has shown off the first smartphones that will be using its own operating system, branded the Ophone. Handsets from Dell, Lenovo Mobile and several other companies are expected shortly, while a model from HTC has already gone on sale.

The Ophone OS is based on Google's Android operating system, which should make it easier for software developers to port their applications to the China Mobile apps store.

The phones will all run on China Mobile's 3G network - which is based on TD-SCDMA. Last week, rival operator, China Unicom secured an agreement to sell the Apple iPhone to its subscribers after lengthy negotiations. The country's third mobile network, China Telecom is reported to be in talks to secure exclusive rights to sell the Palm Pre in the country.

The Dell Ophone is currently just a prototype model, and there are no concrete plans to start selling it in the country, while the Lenovo Mobile O1 is due to go on sale next month.

LG and Motorola are also developing Ophones, a China Mobile representative said. Philips is also reported to be working on a handset, although this is more likely to be a reference design that is to be sold to vendors for use within their handsets.

Image credit Xinhua/Yuan Zhou

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