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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 (opens in new tab) 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.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.