A Chinese TV set maker, Konka Group, today announced plans to manufacture Qualcomm-designed CDMA mobile phones, making it the third Chinese OEM to adopt the U.S. company's digital cell-phone standard.
Konka, which derives the major portion of its revenue from TV sets, is diversifying into the booming Chinese wireless-handset market, as overproduction has driven down consumer- electronics prices sharply. Earlier this month, Konka, of Shenzhen, was one of four companies approved by the government to make GPRS packet-GMS wireless phones for the so-called Generation 2.5 upgraded service.
The TV set maker joins ZTE Corp., also of Shenzhen, and Eastern Coimmunications Co. as the three domestic Chinese vendors licensed by Qualcomm Inc. to build its CDMA phones. Foreign companies with handset assembly plants in China, such as Motorola Inc., are also planning to build phones in that country using the Qualcomm digital standard.
Earlier this year, China threw San Diego-based Qualcomm and its suppliers into turmoil by indicating that domestic networks would drop plans to use the current CDMA standard and would wait until the IMS-2000 third-generation (3G) global standard was implemented in several years. Sources said that under pressure from the United States, China reversed itself and approved an existing CDMA standard network to be built by China Unicom, the country's second largest wireless provider.