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Global mobile brands find lines busy in China (8)

(China Daily)

13:29, September 24, 2012

Operating system

The widespread use of smartphones in China is poised to ignite a new round of competition among mobile operating systems, although Google Inc's Android system remains dominant at present.

The penetration rate of the Android system hit a record-high of 82.8 percent as of the second quarter of this year, data from Beijing-based research company Analysys International showed. The figure excluded the large shipment of knock-off smartphones, a unique product category for emerging markets such as China and India.

Analysts believed if knock-off phones were included, Android's market share would surge because it is the world's largest operating system for mobile devices.

The power of Android is eminent in China. On Sept 13, Taiwan PC maker Acer Inc canceled the launch of its new mobile phone running a cloud-based operating system developed by a division of Alibaba Group because of "direct pressure" from Google.

But, Acer said that it will continue its cooperation with Alibaba.

The biggest challenge to Android is probably the iOS, an operating system especially designed for Apple's mobile devices.

Yet the penetration rate of iOS barely stood at 6 percent in China, said Analysys International. Apple may pick up some market share after iPhone 5, launched widely outside the Chinese mainland this month, hits the local market.

"The release of iPhone 5 will accelerate Apple's shipment of smartphones before the end of this year," said Liu Peng, an analyst at Analysys International. However, the momentum will be limited, according to Liu, who added that manufacturers using Android systems were making moves ahead of Apple in a bid to seize a bigger market share.

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