Feeds

China sprouts another Android fork

Like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife

The Power of One Infographic

QQ, the world's biggest social networking service, is to launch its own handset and yet another fork of Google's Android, bringing the count up to four Android variants in China.

Not that Tencent (owners of QQ) have varied hugely from the stock Android code. The new platform provides ties into a range of QQ services, but bears more resemblance to the UI shells applied by manufacturers such as Motorola and HTC, rather than a genuine fork of the underlying system, though it is hard to be certain from the Chinese-language coverage and basic screenshots available.

This version follows e-commerce outfit Alibaba's own fork of Android, which links to that company's cloud services and electronic-content stores. Then there's Baidu Yi, which ties into the search engine's application suites just as the stock Android links to Google.

Lastly we have Xiaomi, a hugely aspirational manufacturer with its own Android fork, which reckons selling direct will enable it to undercut everyone else – a strategy which failed so comprehensively for Google.

So on each side of the Great Wall we have variants of Android produced by insanely optimistic manufacturers (Xiaomi and TabCo's Grid, the latter the bastard offspring of the CrunchPad), e-commerce sites (Alibaba in China, Amazon in the USA), and search engines (Baidu and Google).

That's not necessarily a bad thing: Android's openness has always been a double-edged sword with everyone trying to work out their own strategy to make money out of Google's largess.

But the forking balance is now tipped towards China with a QQ variant, at least until Facebook has a shot. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.