HTC One, Butterfly S and Flyer used to debut COS (China Operating System) - HTC Source
Remember that rumors and leaks around HTC’s mysterious operating system for the Chinese market? It turns out that the operating system was real. Commissioned by the Chinese government and build by the Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, COS (an acronym for China Operating System) is intended to “break the foreign monopoly in the field of infrastructure software” currently dominated by Microsoft, Google and Apple. COS is designed to run on personal computers, smartphones, tablet, set-top boxes and smart appliances and do pretty much everything Android can do. But unlike Android, the Chinese government is not planning on making COS open source, since they claim there are too many security issues which develop when software is thrust into the open source arena.
The promotional video for COS shows the new operating system running on the HTC One, HTC Butterfly S and the archaic HTC Flyer. While HTC has not made any announcements regarding COS and is not mentioned in the official Chinese news stories, we do not know how involved HTC was in the development of the operating system. That being said, the icons and general UI of COS appear to be inspired by HTC Sense.
With HTC’s recent financial struggles, we would not be surprised if HTC uses the Chinese government sanctioned COS on future smartphones and tablets destined for the Chinese market. by using the operating system, HTC may be able to flood the market with higher profit margin devices since it would not need to pay Microsoft of Apple and patent licensing fees as it does with Android phones. It’s hard to say if such a move would help HTC regain its foothold, but it’s definitely worth a try.