Baidu, China's Google, To Release Own-Brand Smartphone, Cloud Service [Updated]

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Baidu dominates search and many web services inside China, and now it's poised to release an inexpensive smartphone powered by its own operating system, backed up by extensive cloud services (does that sound familiar?). According to the Wall Street Journal the system comes with 100GB of cloud storage and includes Baidu maps and licensed music services, and the handset is just $158 in equivalent price. The device, merely the first of many that Baidu expects other operators to launch carrying its OS, is being made in collaboration with Foxconn—Apple's most significant manufacturing partner. Apple has been seeing incredible sales of its iPhone inside China, despite its high price.

Update: The Changhong H5018 has now been revealed. Carrying a forked and gutted version of Android, the device is actually rather attractive with its colored plastic chassis seeming to take a number of design cues from Nokia's N9 and Lumia range. It has a 3.5-inch screen and is an all-touchscreen affair that also includes Baidu's own voice-recognition technology. 

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