Huawei confirms plans to launch its own Android alternative OS

Ann Santiago
June 15, 2019

Huawei's ambition to become the world's top-selling smartphone maker by the fourth quarter of this year are now delayed, a senior Huawei executive said this week.

The "HongMeng" trademark is believed to be getting registered in multiple markets, including Canada, Europe and South Korea.

Huawei has been placed under increasing scrutiny in the past year, a pressure driven by USA allegations that "back doors" in its routers, switches and other gear could allow China to spy on communications. Because it's no longer allowed to use Android and Windows on its devices, the Chinese tech giant had to push back several devices, including a Windows laptop that was originally projected to launch this week.

Looking at the activity, it seems clear Huawei is stepping up efforts to reduce its reliance on Google for provision of software for devices, and launch its own system. The agency has sought additional details from the company about its mobile operating system.

The company has denied its products pose a security threat.

Information surrounding the operating system has begun to surface following the escalation of USA actions against Huawei, and many reports state that the operating system was initially code-named HongMeng OS.

Reports have placed the potential launch date of Huawei's upcoming operating system at anywhere from as early as Q3 2019 to March 2020, when the company is expected to launch its new flagship smartphones.

"We're not specifically asking anyone to lobby for us".

There's an elephant in Huawei's folding room in the form of Google's Huawei ban, meaning after August, future Huawei smartphones won't be able to use the Android operating systems if a deal between Huawei and Google (but actually the U.S. and China) can't be struck. If all the phones do get the update, Google risks losing significant Android market share. For all you know, it may just be a matter of building hype for a Chinese alternative to Android OS.

This is a possible solution which would result in the new operating system being compatible with Android applications, but Huawei will still be unable to pre-load Google apps and services on its devices. Huawei accounted for about or 4% of the company's overall sales a year ago.

Huawei clearly wants to avoid those kinds of headaches, so it's going to take more time to make sure the €2,299 Mate X (roughly $2,600) is up to snuff.

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