New Android phones to release in China under exclusivity deals

Chinese consumers will soon be able to purchase Android-powered handsets, with both Motorola and Sony Ericsson confirming that they will release new TD-SCDMA-based devices as exclusives for various Chinese operators.

Motorola will release three new devices as part of its ‘Ming’ product range; each of the three will be exclusive to one of the market’s three major operators – China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom – with the respective models supporting TD-SCDMA, WCDMA and CDMA EVDO 3G connectivity. Motorola claims that all three devices feature “superb Chinese handwriting support, developed by Motorola and now in its sixth generation.”

Sony Ericsson meanwhile has announced just one device, named the A8i, which will be its first TD-SCDMA-capable smartphone for China Mobile. Both of the devices exclusive to China Mobile will run on a variant of Android designed by the operator, entitled OMS 2.0, and will also both support the Chinese market’s CMMB mobile television standard.

Both vendors are taking on the Chinese smartphone market leader Nokia, which has a 76.9% market share according to the research firm Canalys – a phenomenal lead, especially given that Motorola holds the second place with a mere 4.7% share. Many of the available Nokia devices support TD-SCDMA, but run on Symbian OS.

Motorola has a suite of eleven Android-based devices which it will target at China, further driving Android adoption in the country – the second largest smartphone market in the world.

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