China's Baidu unveils new low-end smartphone with latest cloud platform

The Changhong H5018 comes with the Baidu Cloud Smart Terminal platform

Baidu, which runs China's most popular search engine, has unveiled its newest smartphone, featuring the company's own mobile platform and priced to target the country's low-end handset segment.

The Changhong H5018 will be priced at less than 1,000 yuan (US$158) without a contract, the company said Tuesday. The device marks the second smartphone the company has released, the last one being a handset developed in cooperation with U.S. PC maker Dell that was announced in December.

Baidu's last smartphone, the Dell Streak Pro D43, was priced three times higher than the H5018 at 2,999 yuan, and was marketed toward business users and young trendsetters.

This time, Baidu has partnered with Chinese handset vendor Changhong to create a new handset, which was manufactured by Foxconn. The phone is built with a 3.5-inch (8.89-centimeter) touchscreen and has a 3-megapixel camera along with a 1,400mAh battery.

The less than 1,000 yuan price-tag puts the smartphone in a market segment that analysts believe will have the fastest growth in China. Currently, only about 15 percent of China's 1 billion mobile phone subscribers are using 3G services, according to government statistics. But this is expected to change as consumers move toward more affordable smartphones.

The Changhong H5018 also incorporates the Chinese search giant's latest mobile handset platform, Baidu Cloud, which has supplanted the company's previous mobile platform "Baidu Yi," according to company spokesman Kaiser Kuo.

The company refrains from calling Baidu Cloud its own mobile operating system. The platform is based on the Linux OS, can run Android apps and is localized for Chinese users. "The main thing about Baidu Cloud is that it's more geared toward running cloud-based apps rather than native apps," Kuo said in an email.

Baidu has created the platform to run a whole suite of mobile products that connect to the company's online search, music, mapping services and more. Along with these services, the smartphone comes with 100GB of free personal storage through Baidu.

Baidu declined to offer a specific launch date for the device, saying only that it would arrive in the very near future. The company said it was working with other "mainstream mobile brands" to install the Baidu Cloud platform on other smartphones.

The Chinese search giant is launching its new smartphone as more Internet service providers in the country work on releasing their own handsets pre-installed with company services. Last month, a subsidiary under Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group launched a new smartphone using the company's Aliyun OS.

Chinese companies including Baidu and Alibaba are still in the early stages of mobile product development and are experimenting with various business models, said Nicole Peng, an analyst with research firm Canalys. This comes as U.S.-based Google has partially withdrawn from China, making its Google Play Store unavailable for the country. "In the absence of Google in China, (Chinese companies) have good potential to provide a Google-like user experience in the mobile space," Peng said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?