(Updates with comment from Baidu in second paragraph.)
Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Dell Inc., the second-biggest personal-computer maker, agreed to produce smartphones running Baidu Inc. software for users in China, challenging mobile device makers including Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.
The phones will use the Beijing-based search-engine operator’s Baidu Yi mobile platform, Theresa Shen, a China-based spokeswoman for Dell, said by e-mail today without elaborating. Dell is among mobile device makers that Baidu works with, said Baidu spokesman Kaiser Kuo, declining to confirm that the collaboration includes the Yi platform.
Baidu, China’s biggest Internet company by market value, last week unveiled its Yi platform to offer wireless users more direct access to the company’s services including search, maps and an electronic reader. The introduction of the software, which supports applications based on Google Inc.’s Android operating system, follows the development of a similar technology by rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
Android was the best-selling smartphone operating system worldwide in the second quarter with a 43.3 percent share of the market, led by Samsung and HTC Corp., according to Gartner Inc. Apple had an 18.2 percent share.
Dell, based in Round Rock, Texas, is seeking to increase sales of smartphones and tablet computers amid waning demand for conventional personal computers.
The Baidu Yi technology has been released to application developers, and is not yet available for consumers, Kuo said Sept. 2.
In July, Alibaba, China’s biggest online commerce company, unveiled an operating system it developed for mobile phones that lets users access applications such as online shopping with cloud computing technology.
Baidu accounted for 75.9 percent of China’s search-engine market by revenue in the second-quarter, rising from 75.8 percent in the previous three months, according to research company Analysys International.
--Edmond Lococo, Mark Lee. Editor: Dave McCombs, Subramaniam Sharma
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