Dell takes on Chinese software for smartphone

Dell, the second-biggest personal-computer maker, has agreed to produce smartphones running Baidu software for users in China.

The phones will use the Beijing-based search-engine operator's Baidu Yi mobile platform, said Theresa Shen, a China-based spokeswoman for Dell. Dell is among mobile device makers that Baidu works with, said Baidu spokesman Kaiser Kuo, declining to confirm that the collaboration includes the Yi platform.

Baidu, China's biggest internet company by market value, last week unveiled its Yi platform to offer wireless users more direct access to the company's services including search, maps and an electronic reader.

The introduction of the software, which supports applications based on Google's Android operating system, follows the development of similar technology by rival Alibaba Group.

Android was the best-selling smartphone operating system worldwide in the second quarter with a 43.3 per cent share of the market, led by Samsung and HTC, according to Gartner. Apple had an 18.2 per cent share.

Dell is seeking to increase sales of smartphones and tablet computers amid waning demand for conventional personal computers.

The Baidu Yi technology has been released to application developers but is not yet available for consumers, Kuo said.

In July, Alibaba, China's biggest online commerce company, unveiled an operating system it developed for mobile phones that lets users access applications such as online shopping with cloud computing technology.

Baidu accounted for 75.9 per cent of China's search-engine market by revenue in the second quarter, rising from 75.8 per cent in the previous three months, according to research company Analysys International.

- Bloomberg

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