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Baidu Mobile OS - Day Dreaming or Serious Contender?

March 23, 2011, 1:51 a.m.
Jake Saunders, Vice President, Asia-Pacific & Advisory Services

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Today Baidu announced it was also going to get into the mobile handset OS market. As a number of commentators have mentioned, it is a space that is getting pretty crowded (iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7, webOS from HP). And that is leaving out the cluster of Linux-based mobile OSes such as LiMo, Ophone (China Mobile) and WoPhone (China Unicom).

Why does Robin Li, Baidu’s chief executive, believe there is a need for (yet) another mobile OS? He did provide some commentary although the explanation is a little confusing…

Certainly it is true an iPhones takes 35 seconds to do a cold boot up. Most iPhone users would have their iPhone in “sleep” mode. From sleep mode to having Safari web browser open takes less than 2 seconds.

Slow smartphone boot-up times aside, there has to be more to this story than meets the eye…

Mr Li talks about “box computing”-based handsets. This could translate to Baidu wanting to develop stripped-down smartphones that have power search and media experiences that are accessed via the internet.

There is a lot that Baidu needs to get “right” and soon. See Insight for more information.