China United Network Communications Group, the parent company behind China Unicom - a leading telecom operator in China, has launched a new mobile operating system called WoPhone. Earlier, China Mobile, a competing telecom operator had launched a mobile operating system called OPhone. OPhone is built on top of Android. But WoPhone isn't.
The WoPhone platform is built on top of a linux core (Linux 2.6). Android, the world's fastest growing mobile operating system and Apple iOS are built on top of linux core too. This initiative by China Unicom to launch WoPhone is greatly appreciated by chinese government and officials. Though iOS and Android are much popular in the western countries they are still being adopted in the chinese market. Nokia's Symbian is still the most popular operating system in china with a market share of 60.1%.
China Unicom has already signed agreements with device manufacturers such as ZTE Corp, Huawei, Samsung, Motorola and HTC to launch handsets based on WoPhone operating system. Though no exact dates are provided, the launch seems to be very imminent in the near future. WoPhone can support all three different 3G technologies such as WCDMA, CDMA2000 and TD-SCDMA as well as the 4G standard LTE. The smartphone os can apparently be used in other devices such as tablets, televisions, gaming consoles and smart terminals too.
Chinese government is actively encouraging this initiative by funding the research. They would be pumping in around 8 million dollars annually towards this effort. A 200-member team is working full-time on this project.
Last year China Unicom had also launched an app store called 'WoStore' to compete with Apple's appstore. Wo in chinese means rich or fertile.
This is something, that we have to learn from China. Think about it. China has its own search engine, own internet rules, own policies, own customized operating system for government uses and now they will have their own mobile operating system. Where is India? The brains of our people are behind so many technologies around the world. But hardly anything has come out of India in the technology space! We are country of improvisations and jugaad..not a country of innovations and break-through!
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