Huawei is reportedly “intensively testing” its new mobile operating system, and looking to start rolling it out by the end of the summer.
This new OS, is reportedly being named “Oak OS” outside of China, while it’ll be named “HongMeng OS” inside of China. That corresponds with previous leaks that we have seen regarding Huawei’s home-grown OS.
Not much else is known about this mobile operating system, but it is reported that it will work with Android apps. It’s very possible that Huawei could be forking Android, which is a very real possibility for Huawei, since it will continue to have access to AOSP, even after the ban. This is because Android is open source, and Google can’t really limit who uses it. But Huawei wouldn’t get Google services nor help from Google.
Huawei has been building its own operating system for the past few years, but work on this OS has really picked up in the past month. After President Trump signed the executive order that put Huawei on the entity list. Meaning that Huawei could no longer work with US companies. That also means that Huawei could not work with Google, Qualcomm, Intel and Microsoft – to name a few. Which really impacts its smartphone business. Huawei did get a temporary permit to work with US companies, but that expires August 19. Hence the reason why Huawei is looking to launch Oak OS by August.
This ban by Trump has really opened Huawei’s eyes, and it is now working to reduce its reliance on US partners. As reported on Thursday, Huawei has over 10,000 developers working in different areas to end that reliance. Whether that’s on the new Oak OS, or its chipsets, or really anything else. Huawei doesn’t want to get blindsighted again, and who can blame them.
While it’s very possible that Huawei could be part of a trade deal with China, that doesn’t mean that the US government will be done targeting them. So if Huawei is able to replace its US partners with Chinese partners or even within its own company, it’ll make the company stronger than ever. This ban on Huawei can end in one of two ways. Either making Huawei stronger than ever, or killing off their mobile business. At this rate, it’s looking like it’ll be the former. With Huawei making big strides on its own mobile operating system.
Huawei can make its own operating system for smartphones, and it could also work to help compete with Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS, and bring some competition back to the mobile OS space. Which would be pretty important. But without Google services, this new platform is going to be pretty much dead on arrival outside of China. It’ll be fine in China, since Google services are not available in China. But in Europe and even further West in the US, Google services are everything. Even Apple has Google services on its iPhones and iPads.
Seeing this platform launch in August or September would be pretty incredible, and it’ll likely be buggy. But at least Huawei has a plan moving forward.