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Is Huawei about to launch an Android competitor of its own?

There’s a real trend for developing bespoke mobile OS platforms right now: As the likes of Tizen and CyanogenMod continue to gain momentum, new entries such as OxygenOS from OnePlus are entering the fray. If the rumors are to be believed, Huawei wants a mobile OS to call its own too, and has been developing one for the last three years.

According to GizmoChina, it’s called Kirin, and will give Huawei extra freedom to build software that’s a perfect fit for its hardware (much as Apple does). This isn’t a rebuilt fork of Android — it’s a completely new operating system for mobile devices. While GizmoChina has a decent record for unearthing rumors, don’t take it as confirmed yet.

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The move would certainly be interesting considering that Huawei is in line to make the next Google Nexus smartphone. For a U.S. company looking to break into China, and a Chinese manufacturer wanting to expand its operations, it’s a partnership that makes a lot of sense — but Google wouldn’t be too pleased about the arrival of more competition for Android.

Also from GizmoChina this weekend are fresh rumors that say the new Nexus is going to be based on the 5.7-inch Huawei Mate 8. As the phone is still in development, it’s not clear exactly what that would look like, but the Ascend Mate 7 offers some clues. Google pulled off the same trick with the Nexus 6, which was essentially a modified version of the Moto X.

Right now this is all still speculation, but it would appear that Huawei’s hardware and software engineers have a busy 2015 ahead of them — and that Android has yet another competitor to contend with.