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Movistar challenges Apple and Android by developing an own mobile operating system

Published on Feb. 29, 2012

Movistar challenges Apple and Android by developing an own mobile operating system

The telecommunications operator allies with Mozilla, Qualcom and Adobe to develop a new web-based mobile ecosystem.

With this alliance, Movistar wants to create a new and free alternative mobile ecosystem that could compete with the largest operating systems in control of the market nowadays: IOS (Apple’s iPhone and iPad), Android (Google) and Windows 8 (Microsoft).

The new ecosystem, developed by Movistar’s partners, is open and standard-technology based such as HTML5 language, so it could take advantage of the thousands of developments and applications already on the Internet.

One of the advantages of the alliance is that Telefónica I+D (now integrated in Telefónica Digital) and Adobe were already working together since they discovered the similarities of their projects, so successes are not expected in the long term but in the short term.

The new ecosystem, called Open Web Device, is already enough advanced to work in a totally functional prototype Smartphone and first units for sale are expected along this year.

The developers of the project initially want to target a low-cost market, so the Qualcom chips running the device’s platform are ones of the more inexpensive chips manufactured by the North American company, which also equips some of the most potent and expensive smartphones in the industry.

Under these premises, it seems that companies with emerging markets as priority objective or experienced in the manufacture of inexpensive goods such as Huawei and ZTE (China), LG and Samsung (Korea) or HTC (Taiwan), would be the first ones providing products with the new operating system.

Having Mozilla as one of the partners is also an advantage because it is an open foundation and it has clear governance, which allows the joining of any operator or manufacturer; while other operating systems developed by a single company cannot.

On the other hand, the disadvantage of the project is that the support of the large telecommunication operators is needed to succeed. Nowadays, the project counts with the support of Telefónica, which (even being a telecommunication giant with more than 280 million mobile clients) cannot impose any standard by itself. In order to consolidate the new platform, it would be necessary the support of other large telecommunication operators such as Vodafone, France Telecom, Deutsche Telekom or the Americans AT&T and Verizon.

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