China's largest search engine will reportedly launch a new smartphone partnership next week. The device will use an upgraded version of its mobile operating system.
Last December, Baidu Inc announced a partnership with Dell and the result was a Dell smartphone running on Baidu's, Liinux-based Yi platform. In an interview with Reuters, a senior company executive of Baidu late last week said that the Chinese company would announce a new tie-up next week for new mobile devices, which will run an upgraded version of Baidu Yi and will be called Baidu Cloud.
The first cersion of the OS, the Baidu Yi - integrated some of the core Baidu services that people in China already use, like the popular Ting music service for example. Many of these make use of the "localized" cloud services that are part of the mobile OS platform. Another main feature included on Baidu Yi was the company's SmartBox Search, which not only queries terms on the Internet, but will also search for online music, mobile apps, and even the phone's own contacts and text messages. Baidu Yi also debuted the company's own mobile browser. Baidu was also offering access to mobile apps through its own virtual store, and had signed agreements with the app stores of operators and other partners.
Currently, the Chinese search giant is reportedly in talks with other handset vendors to use its mobile platform, and is also considering making it available on tablets.
Sina Tech also reported that images of a new smartphone briefly appeared on the S Sina Weibo account of Baidu's mobile director Yue Guofeng before being pulled. The images showed a colorful device that looked like Nokia's Lumia line, featuring a 3.5-inch screen. Sina reported that the phone would have a 100GB of cloud storage and a Siri-like voice capability.