China Telcos Preparing Cheapo Rivals To iPhone 5

Both China Mobile and China Unicom, two of the biggest mobile phone operators in the world's largest market, are set to release own-brand handsets that will compete with Apple's smartphone (presumably the next iPhone 5) and possibly other branded Android handsets, in order to save money on subsidies.

Cage Chao and Steve Shen from Digitimes write that the two companies will be developing 3.5G smartphones that will use chipsets developed by silicon powerhouse MediaTek.

In addition, both companies will also promote the roll out of Chinese-language application stores; Digitimes doesn't state whether the companies will be collaborating or partnering in a joint venture although that scenario is highly unlikely.

As for the phones' pricing, Digitimes suggests that they'd be priced around 1000 Chinese Yuan or roughly £100 which is a fifth of the price of an iPhone or what you'd pay for an entry level Android handset.

Most of these new smartphones are expected to be based on the Mediatek MT6573, which was launched earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress and presented as a single SoC solution.

The chip is based on a 650MHz ARM11 processor with a quad band, 3G/HSPA modem and support for quad-band EDGE. Also in the feature mix will be Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, onboard GPS and Mobile TV.