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5 Aug, 2019 12:57

Huawei likely to replace Google’s Android with own mobile operating system this year

Huawei likely to replace Google’s Android with own mobile operating system this year

A new Huawei phone equipped with the Hongmeng operating system (OS), developed by the Chinese telecom giant to replace Google’s Android, could go on sale in 2019, according to Chinese state-linked outlet Global Times.

The world’s largest supplier of telecoms equipment is already testing the new homegrown OS on its mobile devices, the newspaper reported on Sunday. Huawei plans to target the low-end and medium-end segments of the smartphone market, setting the price tag for the new phone at around 2,000 yuan (roughly US$290).

“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,” a source told the Global Times. The report added that the new device is expected to be used in the company’s next flagship phones, the Mate 30 series.

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Despite the company earlier downplaying the possibility of using the self-developed OS on smartphones, sources told Global Times that Huawei is now checking Hongmeng’s compatibility with Android applications. In June, the company’s senior vice president Catherine Chen said that the firm wants to continue to use Google’s Android as the Hongmeng OS contains fewer lines of code than any other phone OS and is mainly intended for the Internet of Things (IoT) and industrial use.

News of Huawei building its own operating system appeared shortly after the US government banned American companies from selling parts or technology to Huawei in May. When the ban fully comes into force, Huawei will lose access to Google’s apps and services, among other consequences.

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However, US firms were allowed to continue selling their equipment to Huawei if doing so does not fall under “great national emergency problem.” The decision came after the leaders of the two countries, US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, met at the G20 summit in Japan.

June’s meeting marked a new truce in the long-running trade war between Washington and Beijing. The pause did not last long, however, as Trump last week threatened to hit China with a 10 percent tariff on roughly $300 billion of Chinese imports from September 1, adding that it could go higher.

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