chinaunicom e1290049659245 China Unicom to launch own smartphone by year endAt a press conference in Hong Kong, earlier today, Zhang Zhijiang, an official at the China Unicom’s technology department announced that China Unicom, the worlds third largest mobile provider, was developing it’s own smart phone for release before the end of 2010.

Little more detail was forthcoming about the technical details, although, China Unicom’s recently opened online Application Store, the WoStore, was built entirely by ZTE Corporation, one of China’s largest telecoms manufacturers.  ZTE have recently launched Android based smartphones in the European market as well so it would be reasonable to speculate that China Unicom’s offering may be a similar device manufactured for them by ZTE sporting the Android operating system.  Maybe.

Update:  Sources have confirmed that the new phone, called the UPhone, will be manufactured by ZTE Corp and Huawei Technologies.  Price details have not been announced but it is assumed that it will be lower than China Unicom’s flagship smartphone, the Apple iPhone.