HTC rumoured to be building own mobile OS for China

28 Aug 2013

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The HTC One Mini smartphone running Android's OS

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Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC is rumoured to be developing its very own operating system in order to capitalise in the Chinese market, where the government wants to lessen the dominance of Western tech giants.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that smartphones running a HTC-made OS are already undergoing testing and that prototypes have been sent to Chinese officials.

Earlier this year, the Chinese government published a whitepaper encouraging home-grown firms to develop mobile platforms in order to compete with iOS and Android, which both hail from US companies. Taiwan’s HTC hopes that its operating system will be championed by the Beijing-based central government and chair Cher Wang is said to be closely overseeing its development to ensure it meets with their approval.

The Wall Street Journal claims to have spoken to sources with knowledge of these plans and reported the OS should launch later this year.

HTC first gave an indication of its desire to have its own OS two years ago, but it is unclear whether the new platform will be completely new or simply built on an Android base.

China is a key growth market for smartphone makers, and even Apple’s rumoured gold iPhone is said to be inspired by this market’s demands. A surge of popularity in this region could be just what HTC needs to revive its mobile business.

Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com