Huawei Shuts Down Own Rep Over June Release Date For Its Android OS

Overnight it was reported that Huawei would be releasing its own operating system to replace Android next month.

This information came from the managing director and vice president of Huawei Enterprise Business Group Middle East. And as it turns out, it was wrong.

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"Huawei knew this was coming and was preparing. The OS was ready in January 2018 and this was our 'Plan B'. We did not want to bring the OS to the market as we had a strong relationship with Google and others and did not want to ruin the relationship. Now, we are rolling it out next month," said Alaa Elshimy to TechRadar's Middle East branch.

After publication TechRadar was contacted by Huawei representatives refuting the June roll out statement. However, they did confirm previous statements from the company that has mentioned a general 2019/2020 release.

A proprietary OS from Huawei has been in the works for years, and has been code named as both Plan B, HongMeng and even Ark OS. It is said to be compatible with not only phones and tablets but also laptops, TVs, wearables and connected cars.

But interest around it has escalated over the past week due to a U.S. executive order that prevents American companies from trading with foreign businesses that are deemed to be a national security risk.

Huawei was conveniently named as one of those companies days before the order was signed.

One of the biggest impacts from this ban is Google. Complying with the order means that Huawei phones will no longer have access to Google-owned apps, the Google Play Store, security updates or Android OS updates. Although current Huawei devices have been exempt from the order (an extension on the ban has also been set until August 20) it has left a huge question mark over the future of the brand in the west.

Huawei's hardware will also be impacted, with companies such as Intel, Qualcomm and ARM also complying with the order.

While a Huawei operating system would get around the need for Android, it remains unclear whether its app offering would be as robust as the Google Play Store. And with many Android users so heavily integrated in the Google ecosystem, not having access to these apps is likely to be a significant detractor to buying a future Huawei phone.

For now, all we can really do is wait along with the rest of the world to see where this wild ride will take Huawei. And while we will see what Huawei's own OS will look like at some point, it won't be next month.

[TechRadar]

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