Dell to launch China-only mobile phone after all, calls it "Ophone mini3i" (Updated)

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We broke the news on Dell launching a China-only cell phone on Sunday, and today major Chinese news portal 163.com reports the device is on its way: What Dell will be offering in China is an Android-powered “Ophone” called the mini3i.

China Mobile, the world’s biggest carrier, will distribute the device and plans to launch it as early as “in the middle of this month” (which could mean any day this week). China Mobile plans to establish Ophone as a new brand and sell a number of devices from different makers under it. Apart from Dell, Lenovo and another Chinese company called Dopod [CN] (aka HTC) are expected to release Ophones in the next few days.

All Ophones will support TD-SCDMA (Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access), a China-only 3G standard, which means it will be hard to get the Dell Ophone to work outside China.

No updates yet on Dell China‘s or China Mobile‘s (Chinese) site. We’ll bring you pictures and specs of the mini3i as soon as we get them.

Via 163.com [CN]

Thanks to Snake Chen from NetEase for the tip.

Update:
We now have a leaked screenshot of China Mobile’s “MobileMarket” platform, an AppStore-like service China Mobile plans to launch on August 17. What you can see is a) how a Beijing tour guide app looks on an OPhone and b) further confirmation that Dell’s model is indeed called mini3i.

Click to enlarge:
mobilemarket

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