Rumors in the Chinese tech industry say that Chinese search engine Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU - News) has been in secret talks with the manufacturer Foxconn (LSE:HHPD; HKEX:2038; TPE:2354), almost certainly discussing a mobile device.
If true, it would suggest that Foxconn - which makes gadgets for brands such as Apple, HP, Best Buy, etc - is being tagged to make a Baidu-branded device for its Android-based Baidu Yi platform. That was released last summer, and then last December Dell was revealed as Baidu’s first hardware partner and is currently the sole phone on sale that’s running the ‘Yi’ OS. Baidu envisions its mobile platform as a cloud-oriented showcase for its own mobile apps and services, and has said that it eventually plans for it to break free of Android and become, at a technical level, its own software.
The rumors claim that the Foxconn-Baidu smartphone would have a 3.5-inch screen and be geared towards younger buyers. In contrast, the Dell Streak Pro D43 that’s currently the flagship Baidu Yi phone is aimed more at business users, with understated looks, higher specs, and a larger price tag. It’s conceivable there could be two - or more - simultaneous devices running Yi, and so this wouldn’t affect the search engine’s partnership with Dell (NASDAQ:DELL - News).
As we know from past experience, Baidu doesn't comment on rumors. We'll update if we hear something solid regarding it and Foxconn.
Foxconn has a recent track record as a smartphone OEM, having made the Android-powered Journey A890 budget handset for the Indonesian manufacturer Nexian.
[Source: Techweb - article in Chinese]