Baidu Yi Stories September 7, 2011

We now know that Baidu Yi, a brand new mobile operating system unveiled Monday by Baidu, the dominant search engine company in China, is forked from Android. We knew it would be stripped of Google search, but we haven’t been aware of the extent of customization. A DigiTimes story from this morning indicates the software cuts all ties with Google services:

Baidu’s new software platform will feature map, e-book reader, cloud storage and search functions.

Baidu yesterday forged a partnership with Dell, which is expected to unveil first Baidu Yi-powered tablets and smartphones this November, in time for the holiday shopping season. Some even think Baidu Yi gear will roll out worldwide rather than in China only. The publication also highlights another interesting nugget we haven’t known, that Dell will preload devices with an Android-based app of its own.

Basically a storefront to the online Dell store, the app will allow for buying Dell computers online and giving ratings. No doubt Dell sees Baidu Yi both as an opportunity to drum up publicity for their ailing tablet business and upsell consumers to their computer products. No word on whether Baidu Yi will run a customized user interface atop Android, similar to Samsung’s TouchWiz or Motorola’s MotoBlur.

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Baidu Yi Stories September 6, 2011

Dell discontinued its Streak 5 hybrid tablet, seen above, last November. The company is now leveraging its Baidu tie-in in the hope of re-entering the space in a meaningful way.

9to5Google yesterday reported that Baidu, the leading search engine in China, unveiled a brand new operating system dubbed Baidu Yi. Forked from Android and stripped of Google search and services (in much the same way the Amazon tablet‘s software is rumored to be), Baidu Yi aims to keep Google’s Android in China at bay. Following up, Reuters reported Tuesday that Baidu is partnering with Dell on tablets and phones that will run the new software. A Dell spokesperson told the news gathering organization:

We have a partnership with Baidu and you know we have the Streak 5 tablet, so the partnership will be in that space.

The first devices are expected to hit the marketplace early November. The surprising news comes at a time when the mobile industry flipped upside down.“It is really interesting to see Baidu forking its nemesis’ software and partnering with Dell here”, former Engadget editor Joshua Topolsky commented on Twitter. Computer maker Dell, which pulled its five-inch hybrid Streak 5 tablet last August due to poor reception, has some experience working with Chinese carriers and companies as their inaugural smartphone launched in China first. Evidently, both companies have their sights set on the recession-proof global mobile landscape and it’s easy to grasp why…

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