South Korean government to develop homegrown smartphone OS to offset Apple, Google-Motorola

“South Korea will seek to develop a new, open-source operating system for mobile phones that will help secure local smartphone makers’ future competitiveness against their global rivals such as Apple Inc., a government official said Monday,” Yonhap reports.

“The move comes shortly after Google Inc. announced its purchase of Motorola Mobility, a hardware company that makes phones based on Google’s Android operating system,” Yonhap reports. “The deal poses challenges to South Korean companies such as Samsung Electronics Co., which makes Android-running smartphones.”

Yonhap reports, “Kim Jae-hong, a deputy minister from the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, said… that Google, with its newly acquired ability to produce smartphones, could become one of the largest competitors for South Korean handset producers in the future… The government will launch a project before the end of the year to allow the country’s phone makers to jointly develop their own open-source mobile operating system, as well as a Web-based operating system.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Attribution: MacNN. Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]


  1. So let me get this straight… the South Korean GOVERNMENT is going to develop an open-source smartphone OS? For whose interest? Samsung is (obviously) against this, so who does it really benefit??

    1. look at this another way… Smartphone sales are important to the Korean economy, and therefore to all Koreans. The Korean government sees two major threats: apple’s legal challenge may knock android out of the market; and the Google purchase of motorolla may make samsung uncompetitive. By facilitating a new operating system, the Korean government is attempting to replace android with an operating system which is immune from apple patent challenges, and manipulation by google. Samsung, and others, will be able to use this operating system for free.

      Well, I think that is the idea anyway. But building an o/s is not so easy unless, like google and samsung, you steal the ideas of others.

    2. Off the top of my head there’s LG as well.

      Maybe Korea should buy webOS, and open-source it. Less risky than starting from scratch. If I had to guess, I’d say 9 out of 10 OS projects fizzle.

  2. @FTB dead on. Just expect another blatant copy job. And a bad copy job at that. The government is ran by businesses anyway so Samsung is probably behind the idea. Koreans hate having to rely on outsiders for anything. They were just biding their time until they can copy it.

  3. I rather presumed that the Asians were already well along with such a move in pcs as well as post pcs. Hardly suggests that they are perceptive when it comes to reading enormous writing on the wall even when its in neon letters does it.

  4. “South Korea will seek to develop a new, open-source operating system that will help secure Korean smartphone makers’ competitiveness against their global rivals such as, oh, I don’t know. Let’s say, … um, well, let’s just use … um, well, say, … um … just as an example, let’s say, AppleInc., for instance.”

    But seriously, I mean, REALLY?!
    A whole, national, government is required to try to compete with a private enterprise that succeeds simply by applying itself to quality, customer service, and innovation?!

    And I’m also sitting here trying to remember the last time any national government felt it necessary to put its resources into trying to compete with Microsoft.

  5. I just don’t think Asian companies or governments *get* software. I really don’t think they have one bit of a clue on how to develop a mass-market OS and then market it properly. This has always been the “Achille’s Heel” of all the Asian electronics giants. Ever see *any* good software from the likes of Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Samsung, and LG?

    The South Korean government will now develop this software? Considering that Samsung as a conglomerate accounts for 20% of the nation’s GDP, it seems Samsung is telling the government that they need to use the taxpayer’s dollars for the development of this software.

    Do you all know that Samsung’s Chairman Lee Kun-Hee, who recently laid down an edict that they must develop their own software, is a tax-evading convict who was pardoned by the President because he means so much to the Korean economy? Samsung needs to be split into hundreds of smaller companies. Korea has let these conglomerates run out of control and the citizens there are paying dearly for it.

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