Baidu, the most popular search engine in China, has launched its latest smartphone Changhong H5018, powered by its own mobile OS. With this phone, the company has targeted country’s low-end handset segment.
The phone will be available at about $158 without a contract, according to company’s sources. It is the second device launched by Baidu; earlier one was developed with support from U.S.’s leading PC makers Dell and was released in December last year. The last smartphone D43 by Baidu was priced three times higher than the latest one. This device is made keeping both business and individual users in mind.
Changhong H5018 has a 3.5-inch touch screen, 3-megapixel camera and is fueled by a 1,400mAh battery. The phone is believed to contribute its share in the growth of the country. At present, not more than 15% of 1 billion users are using 3G services in China but this statistic may change if more affordable options become available.
The phone incorporates Baidu’s own cloud, replacing its previous mobile OS Baidu Yi. Localized for Chinese users, the new OS is based on Linux and it can also run customized Android Apps. The most interesting thing about this phone is that it has been geared towards running cloud based apps instead of native apps.
The platform will run the company’s own suit of products including online search, music, mapping services and so on. Baidu is working with other mainstream mobile brands to get its cloud OS installed on their smartphones.
Last month, Alibaba Group also launched its own smartphone based on company’s Aliyun OS. Both companies are in early stages of mobile product development. Google, the world’s leading search engine, has already partially withdrawn its products, e.g. Google Play Store from China, and in its absence, the domestic companies have good potential to grow, according to analysts.