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China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd, the nation's second-largest telecom operator by subscribers, expects to sell 140 million handsets running on its 3G mobile network next year, company officials said.
Ku Wei, deputy general manager of China Unicom's marketing department, said on Monday that the company has almost a 50 percent market share of China's 3G market.
As of October, China Unicom had sold 70.5 million 3G handsets for its WCDMA network, accounting for 49.3 percent of the total 3G devices sold in China, Ku said.
Ku also said that about 190 million 3G mobile devices will be sold this year in China, up 73 percent year-on-year.
The company was also the first Chinese telecom operator to have Apple Inc's iPhone series on contract.
On Monday, China Unicom has become the nation's first mobile carrier to introduce smartphones with the Windows Phone 8 operating system.
It cooperated with Taiwan-based mobile phone manufacturer HTC Corp, to launch the HTC Windows Phone 8X and the HTC Windows Phone 8S in the Chinese mainland.
Both companies are optimistic about the new phones.
"We believe that the Windows phone operating system could be a strong competitor for Android and Apple's iOS. Their presence enriches customers' choices," Ku said.
Research firm Gartner Inc forecasted that Windows Phone mobile devices will have a 13 percent market share of the global smartphone market in 2016. Windows Phone handsets still have a very small share in the Chinese market now.