back to article Indian government floats idea of home-grown challenger for Android and iOS

India's minister of state for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar has revealed the nation's government intends to develop a policy that will encourage development of an "indigenous mobile operating system". Speaking at the launch of a policy vision for Indian tech manufacturing, Chandrasekhar said India's Ministry of …

  1. ShadowSystems

    Yet another fork of Android?

    Just fork the base, add in region specific bits & bobs, give it a local theme, and call it a day.

    You would need to create an India-specific PlayStore alternative, but you've got the potential developer & customer numbers to make such an endeavor a viable option.

    Best of all, if you can use the government to back the project to launch that sucker (rather than letting it grow/fail naturally), then you could make something non-Indians might want to buy, too.

    Imagine what could happen if you made a better version of Android than Google & beat them at their own game!

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "May not be the smartest move"

    Sure, Borkzilla screwed the pooch over the Windows Phone, but it's a habit at Redmond to bury projects (usually after a few years of use, though).

    India is a different use case. As noted, they are "fiercely patriotic". They're also quite a lot of people. It is possible that a home-grown phone could stand a fighting chance.

    I'd rather like to see them try. In the event that it does fail, then we'll truly be able to go back to our newspapers and mutter "well, it's Android and Iphone from now on".

  3. fuzzie

    *cough* SailfishOS *cough*

    It's already a very capable base mobile operating system. It has been ported to a fair set of hardware. It's a got a good security story and forms the basis for a few non-Android corporate/government projects. Yeah, Russia is are also it as a base for a mobile operating system. If you really want it, there's a quite up to date Android runtime you can add, but if your whole aim is to get away from Android, just don't add it.

    And that's always a clincher: someone has to do the hard work and graft to bring up any OS on new hardware. And, fight it as you might want to, the Android hardware adaption layer has become a de facto standard. At least it's only the low level stuff, i.e. base band blobs, drivers for sensors etc.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: *cough* SailfishOS *cough*

      I'm waiting for the Xperia 10 III release, real soon now...

      Sailfish seems to be a success where others have failed. I don't think any of the other alternative OSes lasted 10 years let alone turn a profit.

      Jolla hits profitability ahead of turning 10, eyes growth beyond mobile

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    "Google might not be keen on the nation funding a rival just a year after the search and ads giant pledged a $10 billion digitalization fund to help India modernise."

    Perhaps the $10 billion from Google has too many strings attached?

    Global mega corps have a habit of trying to monopolise their sector when 'investing' in India and not necessarily to India's benefit.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      If India had its own phone OS and its own version of google connected to it I'm sure it would be worth a few billion a year to the Indian government in taxes that were actually paid.

      Not sure how the UK would benefit from having to use it too if Truss signs us up to selling couple of kilos of cheese to India though.

      1. Fred Daggy Bronze badge
        Big Brother

        I would imagine that with a Phone OS, it would no doubt have a payment system. Then the govt could automatically get a VAT cut with every transaction. Plus a payment profile. THAT is is why they want a local phone OS.

        Always follow the money.

        Of course, given the logistics involved (not the technology), I am not sure a nation-state can go beyond the theming and regionalisation as in one of the parent posts - just too much politics will get in the ways.

    2. msobkow Silver badge

      Not to mention 10 billion "invested" is with the expectation of reaping many times that in revenue, as I doubt that 10 billion is but a paltry fraction of Google's expected Indian revenue.

  5. msobkow Silver badge

    Technically I agree we need a new "handheld OS", but that isn't because of fundamental flaws with the existing OS', but because of their incredibly short lifespan that fills the landfills and recycling and kitchen drawers with dead phones. There isn't some technical flaw with Android that leads to needing a replacement.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They essntially had one already

    Could have been Cyanogenmod as majority OS - except the developers got greedy with the licensing and borked things up.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022