Back in March, Huawei CEO Richard Yu revealed that the company had a “plan B” operating system just in case the company was forced to stop using Android.
“We have prepared our own operating system,” Yu said. “Should it ever happen that we can no longer use these systems, we would be prepared. That’s our plan B.”
Since then, things have certainly stepped up a notch, with a Huawei Android ban threatening the company’s smartphone future, and Plan B looks like it may have to replace Plan A. To that end, Huawei has been trademarking a new OS around the world: Hongmeng.
And according to a report in China’s state-run paper, the Global Times, Hongmeng OS will be making its debut this year. It’ll come in the form of a low-to-mid-range handset priced at 2,000 yuan (around £238) in the fourth quarter of this year alongside the Mate 30 series, which will continue to use Android.
How? Well, the Android ban itself is still in a state of flux, with the original blacklisting reduced to deals being made in a “timely” way. But pretty sensibly, it seems Huawei doesn’t want to put all its eggs in one basket, given the way in which its entire business could be jeopardised at the stroke of a presidential pen.
How good Hongmeng will be remains to be seen. It starts at a significant disadvantage, with both iOS and Android maturing into fully-featured operating systems over the course of a decade. On top of that, while the OS will reportedly be faster than Android, it’s not – or hasn’t always been – viewed as a direct replacement, with the company viewing it as better suited to Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
If the report is accurate, we’ll have a better idea before the year is out.
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