It appears earlier reports about Huawei's supposed Android replacement read the situation wrong, or so Huawei claims now. The company says its homegrown operating system, called HongMeng, is not even designed for smartphones at all.
Which is to say Huawei plans to continue using Android moving forward and not HongMeng, unlike what previous reports suggested. This statement parallels comments from last week by Huawei chairman Liang Hua, who said, as TechNode reports:
"[Huawei hasn't] decided yet if the Hongmeng OS can be developed as a smartphone operating system in the future." The chairman added that HongMeng was designed as a low-latency solution for internet-of-things devices, while SVP Catherine Chen, who spoke to reporters in Brussels recently, considers it "for industrial use."
Not For Smartphones
Suffice it to say that these new statements represent a major shift from Huawei's original messaging about the OS, which was hinted to be a replacement for in case Google completely pulls out Android from Huawei smartphones. In June, communications VP Andrew Williamson confirmed to Reuters that the company was "in the process of potentially launching a replacement," and that it would be ready "in months."
Not all publications, however, suggested HongMeng was going to be Huawei's replacement in the event of an Android blacklisting. Forbes suggested recently that all media coverage of this so-called replacement was merely "PR smokescreen," and that the in-house OS was not imminent, not even faster than Android, and not even made for smartphone specifically.
Speculation about HongMeng started when Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business, claimed in May that the company was building a new OS that would be available in spring 2020 if not fall 2019, and that it's been in development since 2012, would be compatible with all Android applications and web applications, and would have a faster performance.
As Chinese outfit Xinhua reports, Chen was "unequivocal" in briefing the media that HongMeng was never designed for smartphones. She noted that while an OS for smartphones usually contains dozens of millions of lines of code, HongMeng has only hundreds of thousands.
The U.S. government placed Huawei on the Entity List back in May, barring them from doing business with U.S. companies without approval. But this month, the country announced that it's easing these trade restrictions, though it entails a number of caveats. Huawei remains on the Entity List.
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