Huawei developing its own OS in case it’s barred from Android?

Android is the go-to operating system for those that aren’t into iOS, but that may not be the case forever. Samsung has been developing its own Tizen OS for some time now, even using it on some smartphones. Now it could be Huawei’s turn: The South China Morning Post says Huawei has been working on an Android alternative.

There are a few reasons an Android alternative might be important for Huawei. For starters, trade and security tensions between the U.S. and China have placed ZTE under threat of losing its Android license from Google. Huawei, another Chinese company, could be under the same threat.

Even without U.S.-China tensions, there are plenty of reasons Huawei might want to explore its own technology. For example, the company may be looking to reduce its dependence on other companies in general — as it has done in the mobile processor business. While it does still use third-party processors, many of its devices use chips built by the company itself.

According to the report, the plan to build a new operating system was set in motion by Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, and was really a failsafe in case of a “worst-case scenario.” The operating system hasn’t seen the light of day yet because it simply isn’t as good as Android — but another problem with it could be that it doesn’t have enough third-party support. Even if it is developing its own operating system, it’s possible that Google’s apps and services will still be available on it — though that will depend on the operating system itself.

The company isn’t being all that public about the new operating system just yet. According to a statement from the company, it has “no plans to release its own OS in the foreseeable future.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard reports of Huawei building its own operating system. In 2012, it was reported that the company was developing an operating system in case it could no longer use Android or Windows Mobile. Since then, Microsoft’s focus has shifted away from Windows Mobile, really leaving only one option — Android.

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