Nokia says it has developed its first device based on China’s domestic 3G wireless standard, TD-SCDMA, and plans to launch more phones for that standard in the “near future.”
According to Nokia, the Symbian-based handset was built in collaboration with China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile phone operator, and is expected to become available by the end of the year.
“Nokia sees TD-SCDMA as being central to the successful evolution of 3G in China, and so is fully committed to this 3G standard,” said Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo in a statement. “With a wide range of integrated China Mobile applications, the Nokia 6788 marks a new level of collaboration with China Mobile and offers enriched experiences to China’s 3G users.”
The Nokia 6788 incorporates traditional Chinese design elements and features a 5-megapixel camera and 2.8 inch QVGA display.
Lu Xiangdong, vice president of China Mobile, said the national carrier was “excited” about the launch of the Nokia 6788.
“With extensive experience in the China market, Nokia will provide Chinese consumers with TD-SCDMA solutions that are perfectly catered to their needs,” Xiangdong said in a statement. “Such cooperation between the world’s largest operator and the world’s leading mobile phone manufacturer will provide an important boost to the development of TD-SCDMA in China.”
China is one of Nokia’s top four markets, comprising 18.5 percent of the handset manufacturer’s global handset volumes. The Chinese market is extremely attractive to Nokia as it struggles to maintain its substantial share of the global market, which currently hovers around 38 percent.
Nokia has struggled to compete in smartphone-intensive markets like North America, where according to Nokia, its market share has slipped to a mere 3.1 percent. In contrast to the North American market, smartphone competition is more limited in China, where devices like Apple’s iPhone are not yet available. The iPhone is set to debut at China Unicom later this week.