China's oPhone OS may align closer to Android

Caroline Gabriel/Rethink Wireless
Confusion reigns about the future strategy for oPhone, China Mobile's smartphone platform. Last week, the carrier said it was setting up an industry alliance to broaden the device ecosystem for oPhone and its TD-SCDMA 3G platform, and to get other operators interested.
 
But now it seems the price of that extended influence and buying power may be to lose some of oPhone's distinguishing features, and move it far closer to vanilla Android.
 
Although the oPhone OS is Android-based, it is so different that its apps are incompatible with other variations of the Google system. This was partly a result of supporting China Mobile's particular network and language requirements, but also an element of its strong desire to create its own user experience and brand identity – a factor that led to the breakdown of its talks with Apple, which was not prepared to sacrifice its own control of the iPhone UI.
 
Now, China Mobile may be moving more towards the mainstream, according to reports in Marbridge Daily, which said Borqs, the design house behind oPhone, will align the next version more closely with Android.
 
That is not really surprising. Borqs already has an international version of oPhone, which has been used by Dell and approved by AT&T, and which is closer to Android. It would make perfect sense for China Mobile to allow any Android app to run on its platform, and it could still retain its own distinctive UI overlay, as HTC does with Sense.
 

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