China Unicom Confirms First Ever Wophone Handset Launch

China Unicom is going to launch the first ever product built for the company’s Wophone platform sometimes during this week, it announced.

The new offering, which, no doubt, brings some really tough challenges for the oPhone brand of the rival China Mobile, is believed to be coming with greater self-sufficiency and hence may eventually make a far-reaching impact on the global smartphone market.

The apps platform in the new offering is coming approximately 6 months later than it was originally expected. It is going to provide a developer platform, a more generic version of the open source Linux than Android, as well as an apps store too.

The first handset of the new product line up is expected to be unveiled at a corporate summit, this week. However, it is yet to be disclosed by the company which of its OEM partners is going to be awarded the initial laurels.

Earlier in February, this year, the company claimed that the key Wopone suppliers would be HTC, Samsung, Motorola Mobility and local companies like Huawei, ZTE and TCL.

A new forecast by IHS iSuppli claims that shipments of smartphones in the Asian powerhouse is going to undergo a steady 53 percent growth in the year 2011, as compared to what it was in 2010.