Shanda Interactive Entertainment Limited, China's leading online gaming company, is planning to launch its mobile phone line around the second quarter of this year, according to an inside source. Shanda is the latest IT company that has shown interest in the already-packed cell phone market. Other IT giants including Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent also announced their plans to enter the market in the last few months.
Shanda's R&D center Shanda Innovations has been engaged in R&D of the new phones for more than a year. Similar to other mobile companies, Shanda will run its phones on Google's Android OS and integrate self-developed games, video and SNS software.
The company is said to have approached chip suppliers to establish cooperation. Analysts said Shanda's experience in the e-book market will help it gain an advantage in developing mobile phones. Shanda may price the new phone at 999 yuan (US$158), putting some pressure on potential rivals such as Baidu and Alibaba, the source said.
A spokesperson for the company, Zhang Jin, declined to comment on the issue and said the company will make an announcement as soon as possible, "if there is news."
Shanda released the features:
The above chart shows Shanda cell phone will apply U8500 dual core 1 GHz CPU, based on ARM Cortex-A9 and shipped with Mali400 GPU. The touch screen is 4.3 inch Sharp display with 960×540 resolution. The battery is 1930mAh.