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China Unicom unveils 'Wophone' mobile operating system
|01 марта 2011|
The parent company of China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. on Monday announced a new mobile phone brand that will use the company's own operating system, placing it in competition with Apple Inc.'s iPhone and devices using Google Inc.'s Android operating system.
The launch of China United Network Communications Group Co.'s "Wophone" brand comes after rival network operator China Mobile Ltd. in 2009 revealed its own mobile phone platform, called "OPhone," which failed to attract much interest. China Unicom is competing with China Mobile and China Telecom Corp. to attract more users of their third-generation mobile services, which generate more revenue and offer faster data speeds than older second-generation services.
Companies that will offer Wophone devices include Chinese firms such as ZTE Corp., Huawei Technologies Co. and TCL Corp., as well as South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co., Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. of the U.S. and HTC Corp. of Taiwan, Unicom's parent said in a statement. It said the launch of the devices is imminent, but didn't elaborate.
The Wophone platform has an operating system with a Linux core, is meant for "smart terminals" and will help shorten product development cycles for mobile phone makers, the statement said. That could help China Unicom more quickly expand its range of attractive handsets to gain users for its 3G services.
A company spokesman who declined to be named said the operating system isn't based on Google Inc.'s Android. He also declined to comment on whether that is because of Google's dispute with China's government last year, when the U.S. company moved its mainland China search engine to Hong Kong because of censorship and hacking concerns.
Chinese government agencies including the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology supported development of the Unicom operating system, the company's statement said, without elaborating.
The iPhone and Android operating systems, which are dominant among smartphones in the U.S., are gaining market share in China but remain eclipsed there by Symbian, an operating system used by Nokia Corp., according to Beijing research firm Analysys International.
Symbian accounted for 60.1% of the 102.3 million smartphones being used in China in the fourth quarter, according to Analysys. Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile accounted for 13.1%, and third-place Android 10.7%, Analysys said. Apple's iPhone had a 5.4% share.
The Android category includes China Mobile's OPhone devices since they are based on Android, but their overall share is "small," Analysys analyst Lu Libin said.
Источник: Total Telecom