China Mobile on Monday formally launched its Ophone platform and Ophone handsets, days  after its rival China Unicom's non-exclusive iPhone deal with Apple.

According to Wang Jianzhou, president of nation's biggest telecom operator, the Ophone platform is the first mobile Internet-oriented smart mobile terminal software platform that has been developed by a telecom operator. It is expected to significantly improve the competitiveness of China Mobile's TD-SCDMA terminals.

During the launch meeting for the Ophone, China Mobile announced three Ophone-related tools and platforms, including the Ophone platform for users, the Ophone SDK software development tool targeting software developers and the Ophone SDN software developers' community.

Wang said the Ophone platform will bring new experiences to China Mobile's hundreds of millions of users and achieve the joint development of all main bodies of the industry chain.

At the same time, the launch of the Ophone platform will lower the threshold for manufacturers' development of TD-SCDMA smartphones, accelerate the industrialization of TD-SCDMA terminals in China and improve the competitiveness of TD-SCDMA terminals.

China Mobile revealed that the Ophone platform has gained wide support from the industry and over 20 foreign and Chinese manufacturers, including Lenovo, Dell, Dopod, LG, Hisense and Philips. All of them have developed and will launch Ophone handsets.

Meanwhile, China Mobile may also see possible deal with Apple, as the U.S. technology giant's three-year deal with China Unicom is not exclusive, in sharp contrast to its U.S. arrangement with AT&T Inc.

Apple is free to pursue deals with China Mobile, which has 500 million subscribers, and China Telecom, with another 42 million subscribers, besides the country's second-largest carrier with more than 14O million customers.