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Chinese giant Alibaba offers 'Cloudphone'

Apps? Get with it, grandad, time for cloudy pockets

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Chinese internet behemoth Alibaba is getting into software with the launch of a mobile operating system and handset.

The company said the K-Touch Cloud-Smart Phone W700 would be the first of a family of devices including tablet computers and large screen phones.

The phone is designed to run cloud services including email, web search and GPS.

The company said the phones support web-based apps. "These offer users an internet-like experience and do not require the user to download or install application software on their mobile devices. Cloud OS users can seamlessly synchronise, store and back-up data such as contact information, call logs, text messages, notes and photos to AliCloud's remote data center, and can also access and update this data across all their PC and mobile devices."

The firm also called on developers to get busy making applications. It said they could be developed on in-house servers or use AliCloud's infrastructure.

Every cloud OS user will get an initial 100 gigabytes of storage, with the intention to increase this in future.

The company quoted Ministry of Industry and Information Technology figures, which show 80 million 3G phone users in China, with sales of smartphones in the first quarter just short of 20 million and now making up 30 per cent of total handset sales.

See AliCloud's statement here. ®

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