HUAWEI HAS DOWNPLAYED REPORTS that it's developing Hongmeng OS as a replacement for Google's Android.
Speaking in Brussels this week, Huawei SVP Catherin Chen told reporters, as per Xinhua, that Hongmeng OS - also known as Ark OS and Harmony - isn't designed for smartphones and was never intended to replace Android.
Instead, Hongmeng is for industrial use, Chen said, noting that it contains far fewer lines of code than a phone OS and has much lower latency - meaning it can process a very high volume of data messages with little delay.
Chen's remarks follow recent comments made by Huawei chairman Liang Hua last week, who said that the company "hasn't decided yet if the Hongmeng OS can be developed as a smartphone operating system in the future", adding that the system was designed as a low-latency solution for IoT devices.
This is a confusing shift from Huawei's previous messaging. The company first announced its in-house OS, which has been developed based on open-source Android, when bit-part actor Donald Trump banned US companies, including Google, from working with the Chinese firm earlier this year.
And recently, Huawei CEO proudly boasted to reporters that the in-house OS will be compatible with a variety of devices, including laptops, tablets, network switches, routers and servers, and that it will be "much faster" than Android.
Perhaps, it seems, the company has had a change of heart after recent reports claimed that US authorities may start issuing licences for companies wanting to work with Huawei in two to four weeks, which could mean that the company will regain access to Google's OS.
Your guess is as good as ours, though, and Huawei has yet to shed any further light on the situation. Perhaps the company will cough on details at its Annual Developers Conference next month. µ
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