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The Indian government wants to make its own rival to Android, iOS
- The Indian government has confirmed that it’s investigating the creation of a mobile operating system.
- This would potentially join the likes of Harmony OS and Sailfish OS.
The smartphone world is effectively a duopoly right now, with Android and iOS ruling the roost. However, the Indian government seems to think that there’s space for one more smartphone platform.
Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar told The Economic Times that the government was planning a policy that would enable the creation of a homegrown mobile operating system. The minister said that they were investigating the capabilities of startups and academic institutions to create this homegrown OS.
“There is no third one [mobile operating system – ed]. Therefore, in a lot of ways there is tremendous interest in MeitY and in the government of India to even create a new handset operating system. We are talking to people. We are looking at a policy for that,” Chandrasekhar was quoted as saying.
Android and iOS alternatives aren’t new
There have been several pretenders to the mobile OS throne in the past decade or so. These include BlackBerry 10, Bada OS, Tizen, Windows Phone, and WebOS, which have all been killed off in the smartphone space.
There are still a few active players in this space though, such as KaiOS (targeting feature phones) and Sailfish OS. Huawei has also offered its Harmony OS platform, although a closer inspection suggests it’s Android 10 and EMUI with some changes. In other words, it’s clear that an Indian-made alternative OS wouldn’t be the first time we see someone take a stab at claiming the third place crown.
Nevertheless, any future Indian mobile OS would likely need to offer Android app support and the ability to run smoothly on low-end hardware if it hopes to gain traction. Another potential concern might be gaining Google app support.
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