Alibaba has ganged up with gadget manufacturer Haier (SHA:600690; HKG:1169) to deliver a zinger: a budget Aliyun OS phone called the Haier Zing. Launched today at an event in Beijing, it is – as we mentioned when we previewed the launch earlier this week – only the second hardware partner that has been brought on board to carry the cloud-oriented Aliyun mobile software.
The Haier Zing (pictured below in real life) is powered by a 1GHz Mediatek MTK6575 processor, a 800×480 resolution 4-inch screen, and a 5 megapixel camera – all for 999 RMB (US$157). That gives it beefier specs that Baidu’s own budget contender, the Changhong H5018, which launched last month. Despite that, it’s an easier task for Baidu to sell its Android-based OS than Alibaba faces with its custom-made Aliyun.
Aliyun has sold one million phones in the 10 months since its launch, all of those with its first hardware partner, Tianyu. The new Haier Zing will be cheaper than those and also comes with a slightly better and more recognizable brand than Tianyu’s. Haier is a major manufacturer of TVs and a number of home appliances in addition to its recent push into phones and tablets.