Baidu’s CEO, Robin Li, had an interview with Financial Times and talked about Baidu’s mobile phone operating system.  It was just published and almost immediately, former Google China head, Lee Kaifu made some interesting comments about it in his blog.

The following are the key points:

1) Not to underestimate the technical difficulty in making a real time operating system.  Apple has accumulated many year of experience.  Even with its technical background, Google has to acquired Andy Rubin’s Android before it started its mobile phone OS project.

2) Apple’s iPhone is a total integrated product from chips to hardware to software.  That’s why its performance is so good. Robin Li’s solution is software only.  It will be hard to compete, in terms of performance.

3) (I love this comment!) According to his knowledge, Baidu has no world class mobile phone OS developer.  Baidu’s mobile phone OS is largely based on Google’s Android.  If it is better than iPhone, it only means Android is better than iOS.

4) (And I like this even more.)  In FT’s article, Robin claimed mobile phone with Baidu OS is 45 times faster than iPhone, in term of the time for switching on the machine.  Lee Kai Fu questioned, why pick the time for switching on the machine?  There are many parameter in comparing mobile phone performances.  It seems to be back in the old days of 1990s when PC was racing for speed only.

Lee Kaifu’s Innovation Work is also working on an mobile phone OS project.   No wonder he is harsh on Baidu.  It is his rival after all.  There is however some truth in his remarks.  Investor should be caution about Baidu’s mobile OS.  It probably will not be as successful as Google Android.

Author of Red Wired: China's Internet Revolution, the first book to completely survey the nature of China's internet. ( She previously was the lead China technology reporter...

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