China Mobile's App Adventure

2:25 PM -- China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) has launched Mobile Market, its app store featuring music, games, videos, and other entertainment apps, seeking to raise the appeal of 3G and begin the race for the hearts and minds of Chinese consumers.

Check out this Wall Street Journal report.

China Mobile is attempting to succeed where many mobile operators have failed (or feared to tread) by building its own online store and engaging directly with the app developer community on one side and consumers on the other.

If it succeeds, China's No. 1 mobile carrier can look forward to a greater share of its app revenue than the average telco, but that success will be heavily reliant on the handsets that support its Mobile Market.

As the world's first, and so far only, full-scale commercial TD-SCDMA 3G network, China Mobile has had to work hard to get a good range of handsets on the network in the first place. It then had to ensure interoperability with Mobile Market, and this has been achieved for a total of 10 devices so far, including some from High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC), and LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) .

The Mobile Market also brings with it the first appearance of Dell Technologies (Nasdaq: DELL)'s mobile handsets. Dell, under the guidance of former Motorola man, Ron Garriques, has been making attempts to break into the high-volume wireless device market and is finding China a rich first seam.

China Unicom Ltd. (NYSE: CHU) is now reported to be interested in taking Dell's Devices. Check out this report on Alibaba for more.

However, of more interest to the world at large are China Unicom's on/off/on again discussions with Apple about introducing the iPhone to China. Despite reports last week that China's second largest operator had committed to an order for 5 million iPhones, the company is adamant that the discussions are still going on and no agreement has yet been reached.

More in this Tech Tree report.

Meanwhile, China Mobile will be going all out to use its incredible scale and first-mover advantage to shore up market share.

— Catherine Haslam, Asia Editor, Light Reading

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