OS Watch: Korea Builds Its Own OS
The Korean government is trying its hand at mobile software as it begins work on a new operating system to secure the competitive future of its its hometown handset makers: Samsung Corp. and LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) .
The Korea Herald says the government will launch its own open-source OS before the end of the year to combat Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s growing dominance and to safeguard against Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), which works with LG and Samsung, but is looking less impartial as it buys Motorola Mobility LLC . (See Google Plays Favorites With Moto Buy.)
It's a cool idea, but a long shot, says Current Analysis analyst Peter Jarich. Samsung hasn't been successful with its own OS, bada, and it'll take a lot of effort to build a new one from scratch. The upside, however, is that Samsung and LG can throw their weight behind it without alienating their other partners -- Android and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows Phone.
"If you're Samsung or LG, the government is doing it on your behalf," Jarich says. "They can say 'hey, Microsoft, we're not threatening you, it's the government.'"
Of course, the Korean government might have just considered buying webOS, the OS HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) is shopping around, but Jarich says it'd likely rather start from scratch with its own cloud-focused, patent-lawsuit-free operating system. (See HP Shuts Down WebOS Device Biz.)
Samsung was slated as a potential acquirer of the PC and mobile devices group, but the company has issued not one, but two, statements saying it doesn't want the business, calling it an "infeasible and imprudent" move. The statements did not, however, directly address webOS. Samsung, third time's the charm? (See OS Watch: Who Wants WebOS?)
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile