Leading Chinese search engine Baidu has unveiled its low cost smartphone which runs its own OS called Cloud, the BBC reports. The hardware is Foxconn’s own, specifically the Changhong H5018. Priced at less than 1,000 yuan ($158), it enters a market already full of rivals including Huawei and ZTE, but many could see it as a tight-budget alternative to the iPhone.
The phone will come with a whopping 100GB of storage on Wangpan, the Chinese equivalent of Google Drive and Dropbox, a feature which should greatly appeal to users and be stiff competition to iCloud’s 5GB of storage in China.
“It’s a terrific market opportunity for us, and Baidu is constantly adjusting, understanding what users are interested in,” Mr Kuo told BBC News. “The new handset is integrated with the cloud – and with our 100GB offering, I think that no one will be able to match that.”
Baidu’s cloud platform will introduce yet more fragmentation into the Chinese market, however if they limit it to one Foxconn phone and don’t let it be open source, then they might stand more of chance of quality control, much like Apple’s iPhone strategy.
Whether Chinese consumers will turn down iPhones in favour of the cheaper Baidu smartphone we will have to see, but with an already considerable reputation, they might have more of a chance compared to other budget brands like ZTE and Huawei.
Also of note, of course, is that the device’s “unique” Cloud OS looks suspiciously like iOS…