*Update: Baidu just unveiled the first phone, known as the Changhong H5018, powered by its new Baidu Cloud OS. It has a 3.5-inch display with 320 x 480 pixels resolution, a 650MHz prcoessor, a three-megapixel camera, non-removable 1,400mAh battery and measures 10.3mm thin. The Baidu Cloud OS is based on Android 2.3, comes with 300GB of cloud storage space, voice search and voice control.
China's largest search engine, Baidu will launch a new smartphone running on an upgraded version of its mobile operating system (OS) next week along with several global partnerships.
According to Reuters, the new mobile OS, called Baidu Cloud, is an upgraded version of Baidu's Yi platform which was launched last December. In addition, Sina Tech claimed that Baidu Cloud will offer 100GB of cloud storage and Siri-like voice capability. Baidu is also in talks with "global" handset manufacturers to make devices powered by Baidu Cloud for the Chinese market.
"We have a few partnerships coming up and will announce it in a week," Wang Jing, Baidu's vice president of engineering and head of mobile, told Reuters.
Images of a device appeared briefly on Baidu's mobile development director, Yue Guofreng's Weibo account before being removed. The unidentified device in the photos sports a design similar to Nokia's Lumia phone with a matte polycarbonate unibody chassis that comes in two bright colors. It has a 3.5-inch display with four touch sensitive navigation keys at the bottom.
With more than 356 million mobile Internet users as of 2011 in China, it seems that Baidu wants a larger piece of the lucrative market which is currently flooded with Google Android smartphones and Apple iPhones.