The Chinese carriers are building their own software platforms, to ensure they remain at the heart of the brand and the developer ecosystem.
These started being heavily Android focused, as with China Mobile's oPhone, but now the cellcos are striking out for greater independence from Google. China Unicom's Wophone has made its debut, running on a Linux kernel but not Android, according to the operator.
Wophone, formerly known as Uphone, will be accompanied by a 'Wostore' for apps, and default applications will include the leading Chinese search engine, Baidu.
The platform is thought to have borrowed ideas from both Android and Symbian - which power most of Unicom's fledgling smartphone base - and also from more generic Mobile Linux offerings, which have been more popular in China than elsewhere.
This gives vendors like Motorola an advantage - the company maintained its Mobile Linux program, specifically for China, even when it dumped its other operating systems to focus only on Android.
No surprise, then, that the company is among the first to commit to launching Wophone devices this year, along with Samsung, HTC, ZTE and Huawei.
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