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We Got it Wrong! Huawei’s HongMeng OS is Not Meant for Smartphones


Ever since the US blacklisted the Chinese tech giant Huawei, the company has had its plans known by the public that indeed they are working on an Android alternative. It was likely the most immediate action for Huawei to take.

However, it also became clear that Huawei’s Android OS alternative –HongMeng –has been a side project for the company for years now (Since 2012 to be specific). Huawei even went ahead to consider the Russian made Sailfish OS as an Android alternative.

Since Huawei had received a 90-day reprieve from the US to continue using Google’s Android, the future of Huawei smartphone business was at stake.

Later on, rumor had it that the Chinese tech giant’s OS was even 60% faster than Android and even MacOS. Surprisingly, HongMeng OS is no alternative to Android!

Huawei’s Chairman, Liang Hua has shade light on the matter on Friday (July 12th) in response to the media in Shenzhen, “We haven’t decided yet if HongMeng can be developed as a smartphone operating system in the future,” he stated.

The news is a bummer for those Huawei undying fans who have been preparing to start their adventure into the company’s own full mobile OS. Especially when you know the OS proved to be the best alternative available that was lacking in the non-iPhone devices.

Besides, Liang stated that despite their undecided mind on HongMeng, –as an Android alternative, Huawei might still put it under consideration if the US situation doesn’t change.

Liang also backed up Huawei’s Founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei who had earlier stated “HongMeng is not designed for phones as everyone thinks. We didn’t develop the OS to replace Google—and if Google does withdraw its OS from Huawei, we will need to start building an ecosystem because we don’t have a clear plan yet.”

However remember they have been initial reports from the company stating that Huawei is set to launch HongMeng OS later this year or early 2020, the latest. Not to forget that the company had also invited individuals to test drive the new OS on an upcoming device –likely the Mate 30 according to familiar sources with the matter.

Putting all these together, it is unclear where the company’s decision stands now. And I’ll support HuaweiCentral in their statement, “it doesn’t make any sense, we have to wait until more solid development in this story comes out.”

Besides, remember HongMeng is not tied to mobile only, it can also be used in a plethora of other IoT devices –the primary function it was built for.

HongMeng was already trademarked in several countries, including China. Recent reports from LetGoDigital reveal that Huawei has filed a trademark application for a new Operating System named Harmony in EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) on the July 12th, 2019.

Due to the uncertainty of how the ban may finally turn out, it is better for Huawei –and any other Chinese company –to prepare themselves properly –which is what the company is currently doing -although it’s apparent that Huawei wants to continue to use Android OS in the future.

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Alvin Wanjala

Alvin is a freelance tech journalist. Talk to me via email at alvinwanjala[at]pm[dot]me

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