Softbank launches a Yahoo branded phone that runs Android

first_imgThe term “Google Phone” is set to get more popular in the coming years now that Google owns a hardware company in the form of Motorola Mobility. It is the only search company to have its own smartphone, or so we thought. There’s now some unexpected competition from Yahoo!The Yahoo! Phone is being launched in Japan by carrier SoftBank, but it’s not something Google should worry about as a potential competitor for its mobile OS and hardware partners. In fact, Google can count Yahoo! and SoftBank as allies in this instance. That’s because the Yahoo! Phone runs Android 2.3.The reason for the Yahoo! branding comes down to the inclusion of 13 apps shipped with the device. Apart from that it seems like a pretty basic Android smartphone with a large 4-inch (960 x 540) QHD display, 8-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, microSD card slot, and CDMA and GSM connectivity.The hardware is actually based on the Sharp Aquos 009SH phone with 3D capabilities, although it’s not clear if the same 3D feature is available on this version which carries an additional Y in the model name.The only other feature of note is access to Yahoo! Premium services free for two years, which is worth $4.50 a month. This includes earning additional points for everything bought through Yahoo! Shopping which can no doubt be used to buy even more stuff.It may seem like an unusual choice for Yahoo! to brand a phone that runs a rival’s operating system and therefore pushes alternative services, but then there’s little choice to go elsewhere anymore. If running on top of Android turns into a profitable approach, we will probably see Yahoo! branding more phones, and possible tablet hardware too in future.Read more at VR-Zone and TechCrunchlast_img read more