Some interesting news coming out of China, as YunOS is set to overtake Apple iOS as the second-largest smartphone operator in China. YunOS is the mobile operating system that was developed by Alibaba Group. Alibaba already claimed earlier this year that YunOS had overtken iOS in the mainland of China in the first quarter that ended on March 31.
YunOS Takes 14% Share of China Smartphone Market
YunOS is going to end up taking 14 percent of all smartphone shipments that are in China by the end of the year. This would lead to it pulling ahead of iOS by quite a bit. Alibaba Group has made a lot of improvements in the YunOS over the past year, but outside of the home market of China it is unlikely to become successful. In fact, analysts predict that outside of China, YunOS is going to be limited to just the cheap smartphones, and it would not impact or threaten iOS or Android in any real way.
When you look at who supplies YunOS smartphones, there is Meizu and XioLaJiao along with Doov that take the top spots according to Strategy Analytics. The estimated total of YunOS smartphones for 2016 is going to be at around 100 million units, which is what Alibaba Group has been saying all year. YunOS is like Android and iOS over in China because instead of just being on smartphones, it also is part of television set-up boxes, smart home products, smart TVs, smart cars, and basically anything else that is internet connected. China is going through a smart boom right now, and YunOS is set to become the main system on all things smart, overtaking Apple by quite the large margin.
When you look at various hardware manufacturers in China, there is a reason for them to adopt YunOS over iOS or Android. The main reason is that Alibaba Group gives various subsidies to companies who adopt YunOS over iOS or Android. Set-Top Box companies get anywhere between 20 and 40 yuan per box if they add YunOS as opposed to iOS or Android. For many companies in mainland China, this subsidy is the difference between the business and hardware failing or succeeding, so they take the subsidy. Smaller manufacturers especially are taking Alibaba Group up on the offer
YunOS has been around since 2011, but it was flailing until Alibaba Group acquired a stake in Meizu in 2015. Not just a small stake either, it was $590 million, and this is why Alibaba Group is enticing companies and developers to use YunOS over iOS and Android. YunOS runs off of the free Linux software, so it took Alibaba Group getting involved for people to decide to try this operating system over the much-loved Android devices. For people in China, they love that their devices and phones are run by a homeland company as opposed to a foreign company like Google who runs Android.
The biggest challenge lying ahead is to get more of the tier-1 cities to adopt YunOS over Android. Right now in the richer cities and the cities that are full of technology and industry still use Android over YunOS. YunOS is way more popular in the smaller and less well-off cities in China. It says something when even lower-income areas have purchased enough YunOS products that it overtakes iOS in China to become the second-largest in the mainland.