Baidu, Inc. (BIDU) is attempting to make an inroad in the fast-expanding mobile Internet market with its to-be-launched input method for iPhone, as the Chinese Internet service giant is no longer satisfied with a presence in the personal computer (PC) arena.  A beta version of Baidu input method specially designed for iPhone was made available for netizens on online forums yesterday, getting attention of users ahead of Sogou, an input method to be launched by online portal operator Sohu.com Inc. (SOHU).

The release, followed by a download of netizens, has made the iPhone-tailored application one of the hot topics online. People familiar with the matter said that the iPhone input method had not made a debut on the sparkling App Store by Apple Inc. (AAPL) and they were not available for open download and installation.  In an interview just several days after the release, Baidu said that it was kicking off a beta test for the PC version of its input method among the Baidu engineers, adding that the cloud computing-based method aims to scramble for Sogou users.

The Baidu application, based on the widely-acclaimed mobile phone input method initiated by Dayhand.com, a partner of Baidu, can support a range of input methods like intelligent spelling, strockes, and Wubi method. It facilitates switches between touch-screen thumb keyboard and 26-letter keyboard, said the Beijing-based company in an earlier interview, noting that the product makes it easy to manage self-created vocabularies and upgrade buzzwords.    Source:   investors.com

BIIA Newsletter June I – 2010 Issue