Tue, Aug 11, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan Mobile Co launches its first Android cellphone

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), the nation’s No. 2 telecoms operator, yesterday launched its first Android phone in collaboration with Samsung Electronics Co to boost data revenues, following bigger rival Chunghwa Telecom Co’s (中華電信) decision to sell smartphones running on the system backed by Google Inc.

In mid-June, Chunghwa Telecom started selling an Android phone made by HTC Corp (宏達電), which makes the world’s first Android handset, in an attempt to increase data usage and to offset a decline in voice services.

“On the open-source Android platform, it is easier for wireless service providers to create more localized content or applications for mobile users, compared with other operating systems controlled by certain handset makers,” Cliff Lai (賴弦五), a senior vice president of Taiwan Mobile told a media briefing yesterday.

Taiwan Mobile is scheduled to start selling Samsung’s Galaxy i7500 Google phone on Sept. 1, bundling its telecoms services, and it hopes to launch more Google phones by the end of the year.

Overall, Taiwan Mobile plans to increase sales of smartphones to 100,000 units this year, up 67 percent from about 60,000 units last year, Lai said.

Separately, Taiwan Mobile said last month’s earnings fell almost 13 percent to NT$1.23 billion (US$37.5 million), or NT$0.41 per share, compared with NT$1.41 billion, or NT$0.47 a share, a year ago. Revenues dropped 2 percent year-on-year to NT$5.86 billion last month from NT$5.98 billion.

Taiwan Mobile forecast flat third-quarter revenues at NT$17.57 billion from a year earlier, while pre-tax profits may fall 14 percent year-on-year to NT$3.48 billion.

Chunghwa Telecom said last month’s revenues fell 1.5 percent annually to NT$15.19 billion. Earnings amounted to NT$3.73 billion, or NT$0.35 a share.

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