Last month I wrote about how Google’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt believes that only the privileged 1 billion in the world’s population have access to smartphones but due to rapidly decreasing technology costs, more people than ever before will have access to smartphones and information. He believes that, armed with information, these people will be able to “change the world.”

Now Google ironically built the Android OS as an open platform for other developers and device manufacturers to take advantage of. Currently they offer their own Galaxy Nexus smartphone. But like everything else Google inspired, Baidu has plans for their own low priced smartphone. Into Mobile has reported that Baidu is gearing up to launch its own custom 3.5 inch Android ROM smartphone running on an adapted OS called Baidu Yi for US$160 or 1,000 RMB. Like many other technology products including Apple, Guangzhou based Foxconn will manufacture the Baidu Yi Phone.  There has been no news of the release date.

Strangely, Baidu themselves are not the first to release their own Baidu Yi smartphone. We reported back in February, that the Dell Streak Pro D43 was the first. Note the picture above is this model and not the Baidu to be released model.

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Jason Lim

Jason is an Australian born Chinese living in Beijing, specializing in entrepreneurship, start-ups and the investment eco-system in China, especially in the tech and social area.