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Friday, 03 September 2010 10:02

Huawei launches Google-branded Android smartphones

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Huawei has launched a new smartphone, the Ideos, based on the latest version of Android, v2.2, known as Froyo, with an in-built WiFi modem router and billed as the World's first affordable smartphone.

Huawei says the phone will be priced between $US100 and $US200, depending on the market and the operator, but was unable to say whether this pricing would include any handset subsidy component.

According to Huawei, "Ideos redefines the 'entry-level' concept by combining high-quality hardware and software with a high price-to-performance ratio [and] will be released in a number of countries across Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America and Latin America."

Huawei says it is in talks with Australian and New Zealand operators about local distribution. Total Telecom said this was the first time Huawei had announced a cellphone without first announced an OEM partnership with an operator, and it quoted Nicola Pilbin, Huawei's director of terminals for the UK and Ireland, saying "We are in discussions with a number of operators, and also in discussions for making the phone available on the open market."

Pilbin told Total Telecom that the Ideos had been co-developed with Google and had been slated to become the second and more affordable device in Google's own-branded range of Nexus handsets. However, after co-development on Ideos began Google closed its online phone shop and in July discontinued sales of the HTC-made Nexus One.

Total Telecom also quoted Pilbin giving a higher figure for the lower limit of the Ideos pricing than that quoted in Huawei's press release: £99 ($US152) v $US100.

The Ideos supports HSDPA at 7.2Mbps. Its inbuilt WiFi router enables up to eight devices to share that connection. It is available in black, yellow, blue and purple.

Huawei also announced three other Android-powered cellphones. The U8800 also uses Android 2.2 and incorporates a WiFi modem router but supports HSPA at 14Mbps. It has a 3.8-inch wide screen that "provides users with a broader field of vision and allows them to take full advantage of a multitude of features and Internet applications."

The U8500 has a 3.2-inch touch screen, optical track-pad and WiFi router but runs Android 2.1. The U8300 is billed as an entry level smartphone. It also uses Android 2.1.

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