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Forked Android in China

Majeed Ahmad

New member
EE Times has reported about the proliferation of forked Android in China. According to the report, China's smartphone makers are not waiting for new features stipulated by Google and are going ahead with their own hardware and software solutions.


Forked Android, the open-source version of mobile operating system, is not aligned with Google's latest software updates. Amazon first used the forked version of Android in its Kindle Fire tablet in 2011. Then, Nokia repurposed open-source Android for its entry-level smartphone called Nokia X in 2014. Kindle Fire has been a success while Nokia X handset didn't go that far.

By using a forked version of Android, makers can control the entire user experience and they don't have to pay Google the apps revenue. At the same time, they can lure Android app developers to create services for their own platform.

The implications of China smarphone makers going for forked Android could be significant. First, its shows that the smartphone makers in China are now moving beyong read-made hardware and software solutions, and that they are serious about differentiating their products. However, far more significant impact could be on Android fragmentation given the mass market potential of China gadget producers.

Will fragmentation come back to haunt Android once more like its early days? Your thoughts are welcome.
 

Arthur Hanson

Active member
All this will do is make Apple the mission critical platform of choice. The next mega market is going to be medical in all shapes, iterations and applications. This requires both stability, security and predictability. Tim Cook has publicly stated the value of medical, especially with the Iwatch. If Google doesn't get a handle on this, Apple will rule. Along with Google, Intel and Microsoft will be the big losers. Who in the world would want their critical medical needs on an unstable platform or want to write apps and software with unlimited liability. An unstable platform could become the lawyers full employment act.
 

Majeed Ahmad

New member
You are right. Just a year ago it seemed as if Android was unstoppable with its more than 80 percent of market share. But look at how well Apple and iOS have done recently.

Google was able to largely fix the fragmentation problem back in 2011-12 time frame. Let's see what they do now.
 

Arthur Hanson

Active member
Majeed, you are 100% right, all this will do is make China lag behind. It isn't even in the Chinese best interests to have so many versions of Android out there, that it renders it useless as a viable platform. Sadly, China is shooting themselves in the foot by being penny wise and dollar foolish. This is Googles chance to work with the Chinese to their mutual benefit. This is a no brainer for both parties. It will be interesting to see the result.
 

Majeed Ahmad

New member
The very success of China's smartphone makers have been the use of Mediatek's total hardware solutions and Google's free Android software.

By putting the Android path to some kind of disruption, China's smartphone makers may end up biting the hands that is feeding them.
 
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