Huawei is reportedly developing a smartphone that uses its own HongMeng Operating System, which could serve as an alternative to Google's Android OS.
Huawei To Release HongMeng OS On Aug. 9
Citing anonymous sources, the Global Times reported that the tech company plans to release its HongMeng OS on Aug. 9 at a Huawei Developer Conference in Dongguan in South China's Guangdong Province.
The Huawei phone that will use the company's self-developed OS could be available at the end of the year. The device will be priced at around 2,000 yuan, or about $288.24, and will be primarily marketed to low and medium end users. Huawei said that the first batch of these devices will be the Honor smart TV series.
"The new Huawei phones with the HongMeng system will debut in the market in the fourth quarter, with up to several million units in stock. It is expected that the smartphone will show up along with the Huawei Mate30 series," the source said.
HongMeng As Replacement For Android OS
Huawei also eyes other uses for the OS. HongMeng may also be used in remote medical services, industrial control, autonomous driving, and other fields.
Huawei executives earlier hinted that the HongMeng OS was primarily designed for the Internet of Things (IoT) and industrial use, but they also said that the OS may expand to the smartphone business if Google cuts off the supply of its OS to Huawei.
At last week's event announcing the company's earnings for the first half of 2019, Huawei chairman Liang Hua said Huawei preferred to use Google's Android OS for its mobile devices, and referred to HongMeng as part of the company's "long-term strategy".
The Chinese company, however, apparently has back up plans in case of worst case scenario as it is reportedly working on making the HongMeng OS as a replacement for the Android OS.
Global Times said that Huawei is running tests on the compatibility of its in-house OS with Android applications. The system also features cryptographic functions that protect users' personal data and privacy.
Huawei US Ban
The U.S. Department of Commerce added Huawei to a trade blacklist earlier this year. The move prevents Huawei from buying parts and components from American companies without the approval of the U.S. government.
As a result of this trade ban, Google cut ties with Huawei and said it would stop rolling out Android updates to Huawei devices. The search engine company also said that new Huawei phones will not be able to access its services such as Gmail and YouTube.