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article imageHuawei says its own operating system cannot replace Android

By Ken Hanly     Jul 21, 2019 in Technology
In a switch from some earlier pronouncements Huawei is now downplaying the idea that its own operating system Hongmeng can be used to replace the Android system on its smartphones.
China's state news agency Xinhua reported: "Huawei board member and senior Vice President Catherine Chen said here on Thursday that the company's Hongmeng operating system is not for smartphones and the company intends to continue to use Google's Android operating system for its smartphones.The Hongmeng system has previously been widely reported in the media as a potential alternative to Android on smartphones, but Chen, when asked at a media round-table in Brussels, was unequivocal that it is not designed for that.She said the recently-trademarked Hongmeng is for industrial use and actually has been in development long before the current discussions around finding an alternative to Android."
Chen pointed out that the Hongmeng system contains many fewer lines of code than the millions required for the operating system of a smartphone only in the hundreds of thousands and therefore quite secure. The Hongmeng system also has very low latency in comparison with that of a smartphone operating system. Chen told reporters in Brussels that Huawei plans to continue to use Android.
Chen's comments are similar to those of Huawei's chairman Liang Hua who said at a press conference in Shenzen, “The Hongmeng OS is primarily developed for IoT devices that will reduce latency… In terms of smartphones, we are still using the Android operating system and ecosystem as a “first choice.” We haven’t decided yet if the Hongmeng OS can be developed as a smartphone operating system in the future."
This leaves open the possibility the Hongmeng could be developed as an alternative but the company has not yet made a decision on the issue. The US government has narrowed the scope of its ban on Huawei, so perhaps the company hopes it can still use the Android system provided by the US-based Google (Alphabet).
Huawei earlier spoke of Hongmeng as replacing Android
A recent Reuters article reported: "An executive of China’s Huawei, which has been banned from working with U.S. tech firms, said on Thursday that the telecoms giant is in the process of potentially launching its “Hongmeng” operating system (OS) to replace the U.S. Android OS.Andrew Williamson, vice president of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s public affairs and communications, said in an interview that the company will “presumably” trademark Hongmeng."
The future of Huawei with Android is not clear
It needs to be established if the removal of some restrictions by the US government on dealing with Huawei will include allowing the company to access the Android OS. If this is not allowed, then it is not clear what Huawei will do. Obviously Huawei's own system cannot simply replace Android without considerable modification if it is even possible.
More about Huawei, Hongmeng OS, android os
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