TelecomAsia reports that cellco China Unicom, currently the sole provider of Apple’s iPhone, is planning to launch its own rival smartphone, ‘Uphone’, at the end of January 2011. Unicom will release five Uphone models manufactured by five vendors, including Huawei Technologies, ZTE, Motorola and Inventec. All Uphones will run on a self-developed operating system, dubbed UniPlus, according to ccid.com. Unicom, which launched its own app store, WoStore, in November, is the second mobile operator in China to launch a self-developed smartphone platform. Rival China Mobile launched its Android-based platform, Ophone, in September 2009, in an attempt to compete with Apple’s iPhone. Meanwhile, Unicom has also cut the price of the iPhone 3GS by 20% as from 24 December 2010, in a move that is thought to be aimed at diverting consumer demand for the iPhone 4 which Unicom has had difficulty meeting.