Dell Shows Off an Android Smartphone Aimed for China

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 17, 2009

Could the open source Android operating system possibly find its biggest momentum yet in China? Last week, reported on China Mobile's intent to introduce its Ophone smartphone concept this month. The Ophone hardware is made by China-based Lenovo, and runs a version of Android. China Unicom is also preparing to release Apple's iPhone in China in September, but many people believe that Chines users will favor phones based on open source operating systems. Now, as Engadget reports, Dell is ramping up to enter the Chinese smartphone market with its Mini 3i smartphone, running the Android-based Open Mobile System (OMS).

We first reported on Dell's interest in Android-based smartphones here. The company's Mini 3i Android smartphone was shown as part of China Mobile's new Application Platform that will allow mobile users in China to get music, video and on-the-go applications. As Engadget notes, the specs on the Mini 3i are not all that sexy:

"The candybar device lacks Wi-Fi (or Chinese WAPI) and is strictly 2G GSM (no 3G) but does come with a 3-megapixel camera, microSD slot, Bluetooth, and 950mAh battery."

No Wi-Fi, and no 3G? Especially as the iPhone makes its appearance in China, Dell might be wise to beef up the specs on the Mini 3i, but it does look like it will be one of several Android phones available in the Chinese market. And China, of course, is no small market.

TechCrunch has a good gallery of shots of the Mini 3i here, and it's shown above.