- Huawei has a new operating system in development that allegedly runs Android apps and could land as early as this fall.
- The company is also already allegedly negotiating with alternative app stores to replace the Google Play Store.
- While these are big pieces of the puzzle, Huawei will need a lot more if it plans to survive without Google and other U.S.-based companies.
The smartphone industry was rocked to the core over the weekend when Google revealed it will cease all business with telco company Huawei. This would include the removal of Android support on Huawei smartphones, leaving the company in a very tough situation.
Today, we saw leaks of two bits of information that give us a better idea of what Huawei might do should it permanently lose access to Android updates, the Google Play Store, and other Google-owned properties.
The first leaked piece of info comes via the Weibo account of Beijing-based magazine Caijing (via Android Central). In the post, Caijing describes how Huawei’s consumer business CEO Yu Chengdong announced that the company has an operating system in development that would replace Android on Huawei smartphones. While this, in itself, is not really news, Yu Chengdong also said that this as-yet-unnamed OS would fully support existing Android applications.
What’s more, Huawei boasts that Android apps could potentially run up to 60 percent faster on this Huawei OS, assuming developers recompile the apps first. As with Android, the system is open to mobile phones, computers, tablets, TVs, cars, and smart wearable devices.
According to Huawei, this new OS could launch as early as this fall, which would line up well with the supposed launch of the Huawei Mate 30. However, it could also be well into 2020 before we see the OS.
The second bit of info that gives us a potential look into Huawei’s plans comes from the Portuguese news site Observador. According to that publication, a Portugal-based alternative app store called Aptoide is already negotiating a partnership with Huawei to be the company’s new app distribution platform. Aptoide already has more than 900 thousand applications available and more than 200 million users, according to Dinheiro Vivo.
What does this mean for Huawei?
It’s clear that Huawei has been planning on the potential of losing access to Android and the Google Play Store. With an operating system already in development and potential app stores ready to replace the Play Store, Huawei appears to be ready to go it alone.
However, these two bits of news don’t encompass all of Huawei’s problems. For example, hardware developers such as Intel, Qualcomm, and Broadcom have also announced a block to business with Huawei. Although Huawei likely has a stockpile of hardware from these companies to get it through the short term, the company would need to secure hardware contracts with replacement companies or even start building all its hardware in-house.
Additionally, putting another app store on Huawei smartphones doesn’t solve the problem of missing Google Play Services support, which runs independently of the Play Store. It also wouldn’t solve the problem of losing out on timely Android security patches, which are controlled by Google and not part of the Android Open Source Project.
In other words, Huawei might have plans to go forward if this ban from the U.S. government sticks, but that way forward will be very rocky.
What do you think? Would you continue to buy Huawei phones if they had a new operating system, app store, and other features? Let us know in the comments.