Alibaba To Pit Mobile OS Against Apple iOS, Google Android

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced today that it will launch a new mobile operating system called the Aliyun OS together with a new smartphone in partnership with K-Touch, the W700.

The mobile operating system will be available later this year on other handsets and even tablets, and looks set to become a rival to Google Android, HP WebOS and Apple iOS.

Alibaba - whose nearest equivalent in the West is a cross between Amazon and Ebay - says that its AliCloud division has been working on the project for the past three years.

As expected, Aliyun will be tightly integrated with Alibaba's own cloud-computing services which includes email, maps, backup, SMS storage, photos and more, which, all in all is not unlike what iCloud will offer.

Alibaba betters Apple when it comes to the amount of online storage being offered (100GB at launch) and will allow devices to be synched over the cloud across other devices including PCs.

There are no details as to whether Alibaba used any existing ecosystem like Android to build the OS and if it will encourage others to adopt it.

Symbian is still a major player in the Chinese mobile market accounting for around 60 per cent although Android and iOS are quickly catching up.