Baidu launches own smartphone

Dylan Bushell-Embling
16 May 2012

Chinese internet giant Baidu has launched its first smartphone running its own mobile platform, Cloud Smart Terminal.

The device, the Changhong H5018, will retail for under 1,000 yuan ($158) and be targeted at the low-cost smartphone segment.

BBC Newsreported that the smartphone has been built by Foxconn, the manufacturing giant that assembles products for technology companies including Apple.

True to the name of the Cloud Smart Terminal platform, many services provided on the Changhong H5108 are cloud-based. It will include 100GB of cloud storage on Baidu's Wangpan service, as well as its LBS, maps and music services.

Cloud Smart Terminal is an extension of the Baidu Yi OS which launched in September last year. Baidu Yi is a heavily-modified Android fork replacing many built-in Google services with Baidu alternatives.

But Baidu representatives toldTechCrunch that Baidu has ambitions for its platform that extend beyond Android.

The company plans to use Cloud Smart Terminal as a platform that sits on top of all mobile operating systems, including iOS and Windows Phone.

While Baidu is not currently developing a Windows Phone model, the company does hope to make one, the representative said.

But it may be a hard sell to convince Apple to co-operate with a project that would reduce its control over services provided on the iPhone.

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