China Mobile to launch 3G phone on android platform-source

BEIJING, Jan 9 (Reuters) - China Mobile 0941.HK, the world's largest wireless carrier, plans to launch a 3G handset built on the Android platform in the first quarter, a source with direct knowledge of the issue said on Friday.

The handset, named "OPhone", will be the first phone in China that features Google's GOOG.O Android operating system and will use China's homegrown third-generation mobile network, the source said.

Lenovo Mobile, a former mobile phone unit of Lenovo Group 0992.HK, is the maker of the phone, said the source who requested anonymity ahead of the product's official release.

“The product is in the final testing stage at the moment,” the source said.

A spokesman from China Mobile in Beijing declined to comment.

China Mobile acquired a licence to develop TD-SCDMA networks on Wednesday when Beijing handed out long-awaited 3G licences to its three state-run carriers. [ID:nL7330594]

TD-SCDMA technology, which is domestically developed and heavily backed by Beijing, has seen slow progress since China Mobile started test trials last year. The lack of handsets is one of the major obstacles.

So far, there are only dozens of TD-SCDMA handsets available. Most of them are domestically made, with a small portion carrying international brands, such as Motorola MOT.N, Samsung Electronics 005930.KS and LG Electronics 066570.KS.

Google introduced the world’s first Andriod-based phone last September. (Reporting by Michael Wei; Editing by Ken Wills)