A view of a “5G is On” banner above Huawei’s booth at the MWC19 in East China’s Shanghai Municipality on June 27. Photo: IC
Huawei is busy testing its smartphone armed with self-developed HongMeng operating system (OS), and the phone could be put into the market at the end of this year, targeting low- and medium-end markets and priced at around 2,000 yuan ($288.24) to attract software developers and users to join the ecosystem, sources said.
Huawei is set to release the much-anticipated HongMeng OS, an alternative to Google’s Android OS, at Huawei’s Developer Conference on August 9 in Dongguan, South China’s Guangdong Province.
The Chinese company said that the first batch of devices to be equipped with HongMeng OS will be the Honor smart TV series, which will be put into market on August 10, according to tech news site 36kr.com. In the future, the HongMeng OS will be expanded into other fields including autonomous driving, remote medical services and industrial control.
Huawei executives hinted in earlier interviews that the HongMeng OS was primarily intended for the Internet of Things (IoT) and industrial use. But they also noted that if Google insists on cutting off supply of its OS to Huawei, the HongMeng OS may expand to the smartphone business.
The US’ blunt breach of the agreement reached between China and US top leaders during the G20 summit in late June has cast a shadow on the resumption of Android OS supply. As such, some media reported that Huawei is continuing to carry out tests on smartphones loaded with the HongMeng OS despite downplaying the system’s use in smartphones.
Sources said that one of tests Huawei is running on the HongMeng OS is its compatibility with Android applications. The system also has cryptographic functions that protect personal data better and prevent users’ privacy from being breached.
“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. It is expected that the smartphone will show up along with the Huawei Mate30 series,” the source noted.
The price is expected to be set around 2,000 yuan, targeting the medium- and low-end market. In such a way, Huawei can deliver the device in a fast and convenient manner, while also growing the market and not causing an economic burden for users, analysts said.
In addition to smartphones and industrial use, Huawei has greater plans for the HongMeng OS: to make it run on many platforms and facilitate IoT. The source disclosed that unlike the Android system which is based on the Linux kernal, Huawei’s idea of developing HongMeng is similar to Google’s Fuchsia OS – based on a microkernel, can better accommodate artificial intelligence (AI) and can run on multiple platforms.
“The priority task for Huawei to achieve this ambition is to attract as many developers as they can to build an ecosystem,” the source noted.