Huawei makes one of the best Android Wear devices around, but the company could be setting a new course for future smartwatches. A report out of Korea claims the Chinese giant will ditch Google’s operating system and team up with Samsung to use Tizen OS instead.
An anonymous Samsung employee told Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo that the two companies recently agreed to work together. The source notes that Huawei started looking for a new partner because Google “had not been very collaborative.” Samsung denied the rumors in an official statement to The Korea Herald.
It’s unclear exactly how Tizen OS would run on a Huawei smartwatch. However, the Chinese firm likely wouldn’t have to copy Samsung’s exact UI, which features a rotating bezel. The Korean company is allegedly going all out to customize its software for Huawei’s new wearable device.
If this rumor is true it could be a huge win for Samsung, which has long promoted Tizen as an alternative to Android even as it continues to run Google’s mobile OS on the majority of its smartphones. Tizen is best known for powering the Gear S smartwatch series, along with a few entry-level Galaxy Z smartphones and some smart home appliances.
Huawei is expected to announce its latest flagship phone, the Mate 9, later this fall, providing a clear opportunity to unveil a new smartwatch as well. But until then we’d take these rumors with a grain of salt.