Google’s Android is about to beat Apple’s iPhone in a legal introduction to China. (Emphasis on legal. You’ve been able to buy both phones in practically every retailer in the country forever.)
It will only cost $775.
FT: Google’s Android mobile phone operating system is set to make its legal debut in China in June when China Mobile launches specially adapted handsets. The Taiwan-based handset manufacturer HTC said China Mobile would start selling a customised version of the HTC Magic, a handset based on Google’s Android operating system, through its stores.
Analysts believe that a successful launch of a high-end handset for China Mobile subscribers could help remove hurdles to the entry of similar handsets such as Apple’s iPhone into the country, the world’s largest mobile market.
Apple has negotiated for months with China Unicom, China Mobile’s smaller rival, to introduce the iPhone to China, but industry executives say regulators have sought to hold back an agreement until China Mobile has a device that will allow it to compete for 3G customers. Android-based handsets and iPhones have long been available in China through “grey imports” – consumers can buy the G1, a phone custom-made for Deutsche Telekom by HTC, and the iPhone in any electronics retail chain.