Dell, China Mobile to develop smartphone

SHANGHAI: Dell has teamed up with China's largest mobile operator to develop a smartphone, a spokeswoman for China Mobile said Tuesday, in a deal that would mark the US computer giant's debut in the market.

The Dell device will support China Mobile's online application store Mobile Market, a website allowing the company's smartphone users to download applications for mobile phones, the spokeswoman told AFP.

The online store, unveiled Monday, currently supports 10 smartphone models, including handsets from Nokia, Samsung Electronics, LG, Dopod and Dell, the spokeswoman said, adding it "will definitely support more brands in future".

A Beijing-based spokeswoman for Dell China said she could not give any further details about the smartphone, or say when it would be ready for purchase.

A Dell smartphone could help the PC maker tap China's burgeoning 3G market.

China Mobile, tasked with operating a 3G network based on the nation's TD-SCDMA technology, had more than 493 million subscribers in the world's largest mobile market as of the end of June.

The company's smaller rival, China Unicom, is in talks with Apple Inc. about selling the iPhone in China.

China's Lenovo, the world's fourth largest maker of personal computers, is reportedly developing the oPhone, an iPhone lookalike.