When it comes to Huawei and its contingency plans for an Android-compatible smartphone OS, it’s hard to know what to think. But according to a new report from the Chinese state media outlet Global Times, such a system could arrive as soon as this year.
I know. We’ve been down this road before.
In the wake of Huawei’s blacklisting by the U.S. government, Huawei pledged that it would continue supporting existing handsets with new Android versions and security updates. But the firm also revealed that it has been secretly planning for this day since 2012, and was developing replacements for both Android and Windows. In June, a South China Morning Post report claimed that a Huawei-created replacement for Android was called Hongmeng. But the firm denied that a month later, stating that Hongmeng was an IoT system for smart TVs and other similar embedded devices.
But last week, as part of its first half of 2019 financial report, Huawei said that Hongmeng was its “long-term strategy,” And now a new report in the Global Times says that it could be deployed in a new phone as soon as late 2019.
Citing multiple sources, the Global Times claims that Huawei will launch a sub-$300 smartphone running Hongmeng alongside the Android-powered Mate 30 Pro this fall. It’s not clear if this budget phone will be Android-compatible or will be sold outside of China. But the firm will allegedly produce “several million units.”
“Huawei is set to release the much-anticipated HongMeng OS, an alternative to Google’s Android OS, at Huawei’s Developer Conference on August 9 in Dongguan, South China’s Guangdong Province,” the publication notes. “The first batch of devices to be equipped with HongMeng OS will be the Honor smart TV series, which will be put into market on August 10. In the future, the HongMeng OS will be expanded into other fields including autonomous driving, remote medical services, and industrial control.”
While this report seems to further confuse matters, it may have actually stumbled onto the truth: Yes, Hongmeng was originally designed for embedded/IoT use and is thus much simpler and smaller than full Android. But with Huawei facing a long-term ban from using Google’s Android, it is adapting Hongmeng as a replacement for that system on smartphones too.
“Sources said that one of [the] tests Huawei is running on the HongMeng OS is its compatibility with Android applications,” the Global Times added.
<blockquote><em><a href="#447383">In reply to brduffy:</a></em></blockquote><p>Yes, for one they are unlikely to tie its design in with a desktop OS the way Microsoft did.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#447410">In reply to lvthunder:</a></em></blockquote><p>Are they designing their mobile OS around their desktop OS? That's what I was referring to.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#447380">In reply to Jules_Wombat:</a></em></blockquote><p>You have a point, but remember that MS was not the #2 smartphone maker in the world at the time Windows phone was introduced nor the main home-grown maker in any country.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#447409">In reply to lvthunder:</a></em></blockquote><p>That will be the US marketplace though. The same can’t be said for the European, Russian, Indian, Chinese and African markets…they’ve been asking for alternatives for a while. </p><p><br></p><p>its always easy to assume the US market represents the global market. It doesn’t. You’ll find the growth markets of India Russia and China want something different. Much different.</p>
<p>Call me crazy but I almost would rather have China collecting my data through a device then Google at this point if I had to choose. In a perfect world, I would want neither, but forced to choose, I think Google is literally more dangerous ….. then a foreign government … as far as the negative impact to my privacy and ownership over my personal data.</p><p><br></p><p>Google is basically a privatized intelligence agency at this point. Would you rush out to buy a phone produced by the CIA with CIA software on it? </p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#447511">In reply to wright_is:</a></em></blockquote><p>Maybe there needs to be an EU mobile ecosystem. </p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#447585">In reply to skane2600:</a></em></blockquote><p>Hi skane2600, the EU have stated this and much of their fines, investigations and legal cases against US tech companies is paving the way for this, by trying to create the opportunity for a Europe wide tech industry to grow and flourish.. One particular problem area is how small innovative start up business end up being bought out by the big us tech companies so they acquire new IP to reinforce their existing dominance and stranglehold access to key platforms services etc for upcoming business. Happens across a lot of regions and in many respects is a standard business practise of business acquisitions etc, but the dominant leverage ( search, play store etc) of these companies is squashing users choice and what would be normal market competition. So stating that Europe needs a mobile eco system is true but let’s say one comes to the fore, how is this going to get onto handsets? When you look at Google’s OEM contracts you realise it’s a total lock in. Look at googles response to Eu/huawei last year when the EU was probing Google’s Android handset supply contracts with manufacturers as part of its investigations. Huawei wanted to supply Europe with an open source android handset for its own EU based App Store initiative… its around the same time huawei offered to sell Apple modem chips in its ongoing Qualcomm dispute. Curiously 12 months later huawei are heavily confronted by US govt sanctions. The behind the scenes wrangling of last years EU google investigations was a tipping point and wake up call to many of just how capable huawei had become and how US tech dominance could be broken which both US boardrooms and the US Govt don’t want to happen. The only companies that can break this deadlock are ones who can make handsets, have an OS, have an App Store and can supply their own silicon and component supply lines etc….. so that’s either Samsung or Huawei. The US will do anything to stop huawei succeeding, and they are trying, but the Chinese are exceedingly resourceful and are prepared to take some serious set backs to achieve their goals. The same trade battle will possibly replicate itself with India too…. although it’s early days still but it’s on the cards, just watch and see. </p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#447429">In reply to SvenJ:</a></em></blockquote><p>Potentially it is. Trump could punish trading partners who refuse to follow his lead. </p>