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China Shows Off its Own Smartphone Operating System

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China has developed its own Linux based smartphone OS in a move that the developers hope will reduce their reliance on Android and other foreign software platforms.

The China Operating System (COS) is the country's second attempt to promote a home-grown smartphone platform though, following a little used OPhone platform.

This time, China's ISCAS (Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences) has teamed up with a company by the name of Shanghai Liantong to develop what it says is a completely new smartphone OS.

At the launch, the head of ISCAS critisised Apple for being a closed OS, and Android for the fragmentation of its different software platforms.

The big unanswered question though is not so much whether handset manufacturers can be lured into supporting COS, but whether app developers will support it. The range of apps, and availability of popular apps on a smartphone OS is increasingly the key selling point when a consumer chooses a smartphone.

COS has the advantage of being government backed, which in China means that local app developers will come under ever so subtle pressure to port their apps to the new platform.

One area of where the OS may gain traction over Android is that apps will have to go through an Apple-style validation process and can only be sold on the official app store. That may reassure Chinese consumers in a market where Android apps are often pirated and infected with malware.

Although claimed to be home-grown, it is based on Linux, and shares a lot of common styles with existing smartphone platforms. In fact, COS has already been nicknamed Copy Other System by some skeptical consumers.

On the web: Peoples Daily

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Tags: cos  android  smartphone