Rumours have already started circulating that China Mobile will be the carrier to introduce the HTC G1 Android phone to China. Launched last Tuesday by T-Mobile in the States, this phone is the first device to run on the Google develop platform Android.
Digitimes.com reports that as the only Chinese carrier that is a member of the Open Handset Alliance, China Mobile had planned to launch a Linux Open Mobile System device before the end of the year but because that plan has fallen behind, sources (which are unnamed and unverified in the report) have suggested that China Mobile may decide to first launch the G1 that will be compatible with their TD-SCDMA 3G standard.
In comparison to the iPhone, the G1 is certainly not as sleek or as sexy as the iPhone and does not include multi-touch technology but does provide direct music downloads from Amazon to compete with iTunes as well as Google Street View which would be completely useless in China.
It also seems that the good folk at HTC were listening when the iPhone product development team was not because the G1 also includes a slide out QWERTY keypad, a 3 megapixel camera and a 360 degree blackberryesque track ball for navigation, features that appeared on many iPhone 3G wishlists before it’s release earlier this year.
China Mobile, the largest mobile carrier seems to be struggling with a comprehensive 3G strategy. Other rumours of a stripped down iPhone launch seem to indicate that they are clutching at straws on how to approach competition from mobile contender China Unicom after having drawn the short straw with a locally developed 3G standard that is currently unsupported by most devices across the world.