China has the largest population in the world at over 1.3 Billion. The country’s largest mobile carrier – China Mobile – has more than 400 Million subscribers. To put that in perspective, that’s more subscribers than the United States has citizens at about 300 Million.
Considering those statistics I think it’s fair that when Lenovo launches its Android based OPhone on China Mobile it will be a HUGE day for Google, the OHA and Android. And according to Reuters, that day will come sometimes in the next 3 months as Lenovo has promised a 1st Quarter Launch. The OPhone is “in the final testing stage at the moment.”
The OPhone may have launched sooner but there seem to have been two main problems:
- Developers have had difficulty creating a Chinese language based version of the Android operating system.
- China (the country) JUST handed out its 3G licenses for which China Mobile got the homegrown TD-SCDMA standard, said to be buggy in testing
There is a good chance that an Android Phone in China will catch on rather well – illegal versions of the T-Mobile G1 were selling for almost $500+ dollars and buyers were paying an additional $75 to have them unlocked (via MocoNews).
We first heard about the OPhone a month ago and many wished the G1 looked like it as it looks like the HTC Touch HD in many ways. It’ll be interesting to see how a Chinese Android phone cooperates with the Android Market and application targeting.