An Indian rival to Android, iOS? Govt wants local firms to work on new mobile OS
The Indian government is working on policies to facilitate local development of an Indian operating system for smartphones.
The smartphone industry is dominated by Google's Android and Apple's iOS to unprecedented extent. These two platforms have a total monopoly over the mobile devices category, and that is something the Indian government wants to change. Based on recent reports, it seems that the Indian government is considering coming up with policies to facilitate an environment that allows companies to work on an indigenous operating system for mobile devices. This platform will rival Android and iOS.
"There is no third one. Therefore, in a lot of ways there is tremendous interest in MeitY and in the Government of India to even create a new handset operating system. We are talking to people. We are looking at a policy for that," Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said in an interview with PTI.
Indian OS to rival Android, iOS
The minister also said that the government is looking within the start-up and academic ecosystems to develop this indigenous operating system. "If there is some real capability then we will be very much interested in developing that area because that will create an alternative to iOS and Android which then an Indian brand can grow,” he added.
Currently, there are a couple of alternative operating systems to Android and iOS. Samsung tried to do it with its Tizen OS a couple of years ago. However, the platform did not gather momentum with smartphones and eventually Samsung restricted it to its smart TVs. Similarly, Reliance Jio relies on the KaiOS platform for its JioPhone feature phone.
Similarly, in the last decade, Microsoft came up with its Windows Phone platform that tried hard to take a pie from Android and iOS, However, Windows Phone (later Windows Mobile) died due to lack of developer support, despite it being a solid platform in terms of security and overall user experience.
As for this indigenous OS, it remains to be seen whether any Indian firm takes up the challenge and creates an ecosystem for developers to adopt and make apps for. Moreover, it also remains to be seen how many brands are willing to adopt the new OS on their smartphones.