Huawei is testing a smartphone equipped with its own Hongmeng OS system with the possibility of being placed on the market this year.
By mid-August, the grace period of three months after the signing of the decree will come to an end, and no sign of appeasement seems to be on the agenda.
On the contrary, Donald Trump has decided to increase further tariffs on products coming from China valid from September 1, and that may increase the price of electronic products made in China.
The Chinese giant has hinted that it has long had an alternative to Android and Google’s mobile services. This system, known as Hongmeng OS in China, could take over from Android in case of continued sanctions.
According to Reuters, which takes the information from a Chinese state newspaper, Huawei is actively testing a first smartphone equipped with this operating system and plans to market it before the end of the year.
The smartphone would be positioned at the entry-level and proposed around 2,000 yuan (about 255 €). Reuters recalls that Hongmeng was initially intended for the Internet of Things and had to equip the smart TV brand Honor.
This would be more of a demonstration of feasibility, Huawei still claiming that Android remains its reference solution for smartphones. It will be difficult anyway to compete with the dominant mobile OS of the global market and its hundreds of millions of applications.
In the first half of the year, Huawei saw another strong growth in Android smartphone sales. It is in the second half of the year that the effect of sanctions could be felt, even if the group remains very strong in its domestic market, putting pressure on its local competitors.
The move came as Huawei’s relationship with the United States remains tense after Huawei was added to a commercial blacklist by the US Department of Commerce in May, preventing it from buying essential parts and components from US companies without the approval of the US government. The Trump administration had expressed concern that Huawei’s technology could pose a risk to national security and could be used as a spy.
In response to the ban, Google cut ties with the world’s second-largest smartphone maker and said it would stop rolling out Android updates on Huawei devices. The new Huawei phones will not have access to services such as Gmail and YouTube, or other popular third-party applications. This change forced Huawei to accelerate the development of its operating system to maintain its position as the world leader in smartphone technology. The company had nevertheless said it already prepared its own “plan B” system for months, just in case.
Earlier this month, a business executive told the Xinhua News Agency that the HongMeng operating system would be used for industrial purposes rather than for smartphones, although Sunday’s article seems to contradict this affirmation.