I just heard from an industry insider that China Mobile’s Android project, Ophone, is dead.  China Mobile is no longer pushing its own operating system, which is based on Google developed Android.  Rumor about Ophone’s failure has spread in the industry since Li Yue replaced Wang Jianzhou, China Mobile’s longtime boss, as general manager of the company in June.  Now, it is more or less official, said the insider.

Hopes for the OPhone project were initially high within China Mobile. Bill Huang,president of China Mobile’s Institute of Research, hoped OPhone would take at least 50% of China’s smart-phone market in three to five years, when Ophone first launched in September 2009.

China Mobile at that time saw OPhone as a competitive lever against rivals such as China Unicom, which has a deal with Apple to sell iPhones in China. And, many vendors supported the project with their models of Ophone handsets, such as  Lenovo, Dell, Philips and Samsung.  However, in just 15 months, these are all history.  Things can change really fast in China.

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Sherman So

Author of Red Wired: China's Internet Revolution, the first book to completely survey the nature of China's internet. (http://redwiredrevolution.com/) She previously was the lead China technology reporter...