China launches government-approved mobile operating system

By on January 16, 2014, 4:30 PM
apple, iphone, android, htc, china, operating system, mobile os, cos, china operating system

The Chinese government has announced a mobile operating system designed to break what they consider to be the foreign software monopoly. The state-approved OS is known as COS (China Operating System) and was developed jointly with China's Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS) and Shanghai Liantong.

The operating system is open-source and based on Linux with what appears to be heavy influence from HTC. There’s nothing official that says HTC was involved although previous rumors suggested that was the case. The OS itself looks and functions much like Android (and specifically, HTC’s Sense 5) based on what little is shown in the embedded promo video.


As with any other mobile operating system, the software works on not only smartphones but televisions, set-top boxes and tablets. And from what we’ve been hearing thus far, Android apps will more than likely run on the platform.

During yesterday’s launch, the head of the ISCAS criticized Apple’s iOS for being a closed ecosystem. What’s more, officials pointed out Android’s fragmentation issues while both it and Windows Phone were blasted over poor security.

It will be interesting to be seen just what sort of impact COS will have on competing operating systems in the region, especially considering the recent deal that Apple was able to ink with China Mobile. The iPhone will go on sale through the company starting tomorrow following negotiations that started in 2008 with then-CEO Steve Jobs.

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