Technology giant Dell and Chinese Web services company Baidu are teaming up to develop mobile phones and tablet devices involving Baidu's new mobile platform, according to a Reuters report.
While Dell has not officially established a timeline for when the products are to hit the market, sources mentioned in the report said November might be a possible launch period. Dell's sales in China grew by 22 percent during the first quarter of this year, and China, the world's largest mobile phone market, passed 916 million subscribers in July.
Baidu occupied 75.9 percent of Internet search revenue share in the second quarter of 2011, according to Analysis International. Google China, which ranks second, continued to move downward, occupying 18.9 percent market revenue share. Baidu provides an index of more than 740 million Web pages, 80 million images and 10 million multimedia files, and offers multimedia content, including MP3 music and movies, and is the first in China to offer Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and personal digital assistant- (PDA-) based mobile search.
"I suspect this is just Dell, who has a lot of problems on the mobile and tablet front, grasping at straws to get any kind of publicity that it can to make its product more attractive," Michael Clendenin, managing director of technology consultancy RedTech Advisors, told the news service. "Ultimately, in China, I still think it is Apple's game, still for the iPad and iPhone."
As demand in China for mobile devices skyrockets, Apple certainly isn't sitting on the sidelines: The company is nearing completion of a 24,000-square-foot store in Hong Kong to complement its retail locations in Beijing and Shanghai-each city is home to two Apple stores. Carolyn Wu, a Beijing-based Apple spokeswoman, told Bloomberg News the store would open inside the International Finance Center Mall in Hong Kong's main shopping and business district, but declined to specify an exact date.
"The iPhone is one of the leading smartphones in the Hong Kong market," Sandy Shen, an analyst at IT research firm Gartner in Shanghai, told Bloomberg. "The sales momentum for the iPhone is still very strong, and we see the growth being maintained for the next few quarters."
Microsoft isn't holding back either. The company is also partnering with Baidu to provide users of Baidu with results from Bing, Microsoft's search engine, after English-language search entries are entered in China. The partnership, announced in July, comes as Baidu looks to expand its user base after fending off market-share increases from Google, while Microsoft is trying to keep momentum going for Bing, which has seen its user base for the search service grow in the United States.