Despite reports to the contrary, it turns out Huawei is actually not planning to develop and launch its own mobile OS. Questions about the possibility were posed to the company’s President of Consumer Business Software Engineering, Dr. Wang Chenglu following the official release of the company’s Android 9 Pie-based EMUI 9. The executive responded by stating that it would be relatively easy to build a working operating system, presumably closely resembling the EMUI build already in use on Huawei devices. However, there are other problems that would need to be solved first from a non-technological standpoint. First and foremost, the company would need to meticulously plan the ecosystem and partnerships that make a smartphone platform work. Those partnerships and the ecosystem are already in place between the Chinese handset manufacturer and Google. That creates secondary issues with regard to branching out into a new operating system if the company wants to maintain its cooperation with the search giant and others.
Setting that aside, Dr. Wang concluded that at least one other issue would likely have stemmed from any attempt to create a Huawei OS for mobile. Namely, Android and its competing systems for smartphones have been around for quite some time. That extra time helps developers and manufacturers grow a deeper understanding of the system and how to best approach the creation of experiences, UI, and other elements. It is only that deeper understanding, the executive notes, that allows applications to run at their very best. So creating a new ecosystem with documentation, API, SDK, and other tools to help developers would be a monumental undertaking.
Conversely, the long-circulated rumors had mostly centered around the ongoing conflict between China and the US. Although only Huawei’s networking equipment is currently suspect, according to several governments and without much by way of evidence, other OEMs in the region have faced problems. Most notably, ZTE very nearly lost its ability to operate in the Android market following consequences of its somewhat messy international dealings. That led to some speculation and a plethora of reports suggesting Huawei was working on its own OS to replace Android just in case things got worse. With relations between the company and Google improving, using resources to build a new OS and all that entails would be a fruitless endeavor. Whether or not there was ever any intention to replace Android with a proprietary OS remains less clear.
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