In development since 2008, China Unicom has officially announced the release of its new OS for smartphones, the Wophone OS. China Unicom has shown its determination to compete with Android (leader in Europe and the U.S. for a short while ahead of iOS), Apple’s iOS and Windows Mobile. This will be integrated on Chinese brand phones (ZTE, Huawei …) but also foreign brand smartphones such as Samsung, HTC, Motorola … China Unicom plans to sell smartphones which integrate its new OS this year.
The Wophone OS is based on Linux 2.6 whereas its direct competitor, the China Mobile’s Ophone OS is based on Android (Android is developed from a Linux kernel). The Wophone OS will support the three 3G standards in China namely, WCDMA, CDMA2000 and TD-SCDMA standard, but also the new 4G LTE.
If their launch is successful, the Wophone OS could be adapted to be hosted on other terminals, Chinese tablet PC, TV…
Although today the benefits of developing a new operating system for smartphones is rather mixed, Android is widely used in China, is open source and therefore free, we can congratulate the initiative taken by the Chinese operator. Even if Android is owned by Google, it was still difficult to imagine in 2008 the success it would have 3 years later.
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