H5OS, an alternative to Android's operating system expected for 2016

  • AFP
  • Updated: Jul 17, 2015 12:46 IST
There are numerous alternatives in the works to combat the Android and iOS domination of the market. Photo: AFP/Kostenko Maxim/shutterstock.com

Li Gong, former president of the Mozilla foundation, has announced, via the Wall Street Journal, the launch of a new mobile operating system, H5OS, for 2016.

Today, Li Gong is the head of Acadine Technologies, a startup that just landed $100 million to challenge smartphone superpowers Apple and Google. In the Wall Street Journal interview, the Chinese businessman states that this new operating system will be much lighter and will consume much less energy and memory than Android. It will also require much more basic tech specs to provide a nonetheless comparable user experience.

H5OS will be an open mobile ecosystem with no built-in services. The idea then is to be able to offer smartphone manufacturers personalized content. This means that H5OS could just as easily be installed on high-end devices as low-cost ones.

Fighting Android's domination

It is worth noting that Li Gong was previously one of the kickstarters of Firefox OS, back when he ran Mozilla. That operating system was developed to fight the hegemony of Android and iOS, who between them control 96% of smartphone sales around the world according to market research firm IDC.

Firefox aims to be multi support and compatible with all types of screens: smartphones, tablets, televisions, cars, connected watches, etc. Meanwhile software company Canonical offers an alternative called Ubuntu Touch, the mobile version of its Linux system, available already on certain models in Europe. As for Cyanogen, creator of the CyanogenMod mobile OS based on Android, the company has plans to become the third biggest player on the market behind Android and iOS. It counts among its supporters such companies as Qualcomm, Telfonica, Twitter and even Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

Smartphone manufacturers aren't being left behind though: Samsung has developed Tizen, also an open and multi-platform system that is compatible with both Android and Firefox OS apps. Tizen is already installed on certain Samsung watches and even on a low-cost phone, the Z1, which is being sold in some emerging markets.

As for Huawei, the Chinese company is also getting ready to unveil its own mobile operating system, with similar hopes of eliminating the need for Android as the OS on certain ranges of future smartphones.

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