Can Hongmeng OS be Huawei’s Saving Grace?


According to a new report, Huawei’s Hongmeng OS might be unveiled sometime later this week. In case you didn’t know, Hongxing OS is Huawei’s alternative operating system. Global Times China, from where the report comes, goes on to say that Hongmeng OS might be unveiled at Huawei’s developer conference.

Hongmeng OS
Huawei’s Developer Conference might just give the first look at Hongmeng OS (Image Credits: Huawei Central)

The conference kicks off on the 9th of August in Dongguan, China. While there is debate over if Hongmeng OS would replace Android or not, Huawei executives have said that it is primarily designed for IoT devices, though it will first come to Honor smart TVs, according to Reuters.

Why is Huawei developing Hongmeng OS?

If you recall, back in May 2019, Huawei lost all access to Google and Android. This was because of an announcement made by the US Department of Commerce. Huawei was put on a trade blacklist called an “Entity List”. As such, Huawei was forbidden from purchasing parts and components from US companies without approval from the US Government. This also meant that Google pulled out of supporting Huawei devices as well.

Hongmeng OS
With US President Donald Trump placing Huawei on an entity list, the smartphone manufacturer lost all access to Google and Android (Image Credits: YouTube)

We later got to know that Huawei is working on an alternative to the Android Operating System. This would be called Hongmeng OS. The OS itself raised a lot of eyebrows and questions. The main one being how would Huawei offer Google’s services after Google stopped supporting Huawei. Even if Huawei used AOSP, the public version of Android, there would be no way that Google’s service such as YouTube, Gmail, Maps and other services would operate.

Adding to the confusion, Huawei themselves stated that Hongmeng OS wouldn’t be an Android replacement. They went on to share that Huawei hasn’t decided yet if Hongmeng can be developed as a smartphone OS in the future. Rather, it was designed as a low-latency result for IoT devices.

What about a Hongmeng OS powered smartphone?

With all these theories floating around, our best bet would be to actually see if Hongmeng OS makes its way to any sort of device at the supposed developer conference. Last week, at an event announcing the company’s earnings for the first half of 2019, Liang Hua – Chairman of Huawei said the company preferred to use Google’s Android operating system for its mobile devices.

He went on to say that Hongmeng would be part of Huawei’s “long-term strategy”. Hongmeng OS is reportedly built around a microkernel. This is so that it can supposedly “better accommodate artificial intelligence and can run on multiple platforms.”

Hongmeng OS
Despite conflicting statements from Huawei, a Hongmeng OS powered smartphone is apparently indeed in the works (Image Credits: First Post)

According to the Global Times, a Hongmeng OS smartphone is also apparently very much in the works. In fact, it is supposedly already in the process of being tested. If the rumors and speculation are true, we would see said smartphone launch alongside Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro flagship. This would be later in the year. But with just 4 months left in 2019, Huawei doesn’t really have a lot of time left. The Hongmeng OS powered smartphone is expected to target the low-to-mid-range segment. As such, in terms of pricing, it would be around $288 or approximately 2,000 yuan.

Whatever the case may be, it looks like Huawei is sticking with Android for a while. They’ve gone ahead and launched the latest version of their EMUI Android skin to a number of flagship Huawei devices. The US, in the meantime, has also relaxed the trade ban on Huawei, and things seem to be returning to normal for the time being. We’ll just have to wait and see how things pan out.


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