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Asian brands edgy on Motorola buy

india Updated: Aug 17, 2011 12:17 IST
Vivek Sinha
Vivek Sinha
Hindustan Times
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Google's $12.5 billion buyout of Motorola Mobility this week could see Asian handset makers scramble for alternatives to its Android's operating system (OS) to hedge their positions, though an immediate shift is unlikely, say industry analysts.

Android, which rivals Windows, Apple's iOS and Nokia's sinking Symbian, has so far stayed neutral to handset makers, but now it is a manufacturer itself, coming closer to a company that could rival Asian brands such as HTC, Samsung or India's own MicroMax or Lemon.

"Though it is too early to make a strategic shift in our plans yet, we will now want to hedge our positions and be open to explore other operating systems for our smartphones," said the head of an Indian handset manufacturer on condition of anonymity.

Windows was the front-running alternative to Android, he added.

A smartphone is a computer-like handset that enables third-party software applications.

As many as 550,000 Android devices are activated daily as the platform, which has captured 43% market share in smartphones grows, on the back of a web of partnerships with equipment makers.

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"The deal will make most Android players realise how dependent they are on Google and how quickly Google's plans can change their businesses," Reuters quoted IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo as saying on Tuesday.

"Android is till open," Google chief executive officer Larry Page said on Monday.

Both Samsung and Micromax welcomed the Google-Motorola deal and reiterated no change in their strategies.