Baidu Creates Android-based “Yi” Operating System, Dell Might Take Advantage


Carrier Baidu – one of the biggest in China – have created their own operating system (or faux operating system, if you will) that uses none other than our beloved Android as a base.

Notice how stylistically similar it will look to MiUi and how it compares to Meizu’s interface for their Android phones. We suppose it’s a style that the Chinese love (or they really do just like copying anything Apple). While Android will be at the core, Baidu will strip out the “Googleness” and infuse it with their own apps and services, as well as those from their partners.

Dell looks like they want to capitalize on this opportunity by offering up a device running “Yi” which is said to be the name of Baidu’s implementation. This information comes to us courtesy of Reuters. It could be a very great opportunity for Dell if approached right.

Hearing of carriers and OEMs using Android as a basis for their own “OS” is nothing new but we’re always curious to see what these different entities come up with and it’s satisfying to see them prove just how flexible Android can be for an OEM who can’t completely develop their own solution. [via IntoMobile]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S Launching September 26th for £349.99 inc. VAT

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  1. Looks crappy might as well get an ipad

  2. So iOS.

    1. Android. It only looks like iOS visually. It’s all Android. Runs Android apps, but not iOS apps.

  3. That SYstem will not be more effective i think….. everybody has his own opinion

  4. So, how is this NOT android. Wouldn’t this jsut be Android with out Google apps and their own version of Blur/Sense etc..

    Can this not install .APK’s with out a blackberry style VM?

    1. No Google Android Market. This is the same way that Amazon will bastardize Android.

      It will be interesting if this helps or hurts Google Android. In some ways it could help by flooding the market with software that will make it harder for windows mobile to gaining a foot hold. On the other hand, I am not sure where google makes money from this. Is it because google will make money on mobile ad revenue? They are not likely to make it on web search as I am sure Baidu will purge all google products.

      1. Like I said, this IS android just with out Google apps. To call this something new is giving Baidu to much credit. These should be counted as Android devices.

      2. This will most certainly hurt Google while potentially strengthening Android. However, it also stands a chance of weakening Android. The problem is that Baidu is very popular in China whereas you probably know Google isn’t. These Baidu phones could go on to dominate the Chinese smartphone market similar to how the Google version of Android dominates here. While this builds the number of users using Android, since Baidu aims to strip away all sources of revenue that Google gets, Google won’t profit one bit from these devices sold (except maybe some AdMob sales). No revenue equals no extra development dollars. If all of these devices were shipping with Google services, Google would profit more and thus be able to pump more money into Android, but without Google services, it will be harder to do so because they’re developing to an extent for devices that will profit their competitors and not them one bit.

  5. So, I hear you liek mudkipz…..

  6. looks good…is that for a tablet?

    1. The aspect ratio and dial pad screen imply this is for phones.

  7. I’ve always wondered why Microsoft didn’t do a similar thing with Android here in the states. You know, strip out all Google services (Search, Maps, Android Market, Gmail, etc.) and replace them with Bing and Windows Live (or even strike a deal with Amazon for the Appstore for that matter) and offer the Bing-ified version of Android to manufacturers instead of paying licensing fees. They’d easily remove Google’s source of income from Android while simultaneously boosting Bing and Windows Live in the marketplace and Google couldn’t dare do a thing about it or risk jeopardizing the openness of Android and face antitrust regulation.

    1. “Google couldn’t dare do a thing about it”

      I guess, but it’s not like they’re forced to write updates for MS, either. Nothing says “awesome” like selling phones that run a crippled, 2-years-out-of-date version of your competitor’s OS, and nothing requires Google to reveal the secret sauce that enables hardware functions like NFC, 720p recording, etc.

      Also, I’m not sure how jeopardizing the openness of Android would risk antitrust regulation. It would risk alienating manufacturers, sure, but iOS and Windows Mobile sure as hell ain’t open, and nobody’s shutting them down. Hypocrisy is not, strictly speaking, a crime.

  8. I blogged about this the other day actually and it turns out that Dell are interested in producing both phones and tablets with Baidu. Dell have also said that they are not only interested in selling to the Chinese market, but to international markets.

    I still can’t quite fathom how they expect to team up with Baidu, who strip out the ‘Googleness’, as you eloquently put it, so that the phone is a Chinese looking OS…then they think they can sell the product back to the rest of the world. Why would the ROTW want to buy a phone running a Chinese OS? Obviously they would change the alphabet, but what other countries want Baidu apps?

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