Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信), the nation’s third-biggest telecom operator, said yesterday it would launch two or three Android-based smartphones in the second half of this year as part of efforts to boost profits by increasing data usage.
Far EasTone believes the open-source operating system would help it make more profits as the platform gives telecom operators more room to create customized applications and content that can be more appealing to their subscribers.
“We are in talks with more than five potential partners, in Taiwan and abroad, to sell Android phones,” Roger Chen (陳立人), a vice president at Far EasTone, told a press conference, where the company invited the public to join a software-development contest using the Android system.
As a growing number of telecom companies are becoming bullish about Android phones, members of the telecom group Conexus Mobile Alliance were discussing the possibility of working together to purchase such phones, which would be cost-effective, Chen said.
Conexus members have a total of 216 million subscribers.
Far EasTone aims to offer smartphones using the Android system for about NT$10,000 including services.
Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation’s No. 1 telecom operator, is scheduled to unveil today its first Android phone — the HTC Magic — from HTC Corp (宏達電).