What you need to know

  • Huawei has been working on a backup mobile OS since 2012.
  • The new mobile OS would replace Android but still support Android apps.
  • Huawei could launch the new OS as soon as this year or possibly early 2020.

Huawei has been ready for the day it would be cut off from Android. In fact, it has been waiting for this day since 2012, which is why it has been quietly developing its own operating system that could launch as soon as this year or possibly early next year.

According to Chinese publication Caijing, Huawei CEO Richard Yu confirmed the existence of a Huawei OS. The operating system has been in development for years in case of a worst case scenario. After president Donald Trump placed Huawei on the Entity List, Google was forced to cut off of Huawei's Android license leaving a big gaping hole in its mobile business.

But Huawei was prescient enough to know this day would come. Its new OS will not only power its smartphones, it will also power computers, tablets, TVs, cars and wearables.

More importantly, Huawei won't lose access to the millions of apps in the Google Play Store because its new OS will be compatible with Android apps. This is a big development because as the early years of the smartphone wars made clear, it didn't matter how good an operating system was, it's not any good without app support.

Huawei smartphone users won't want to lose out on access to their favorite apps. This would be a deal breaker to many.

The situation with the US government is still ongoing. Just yesterday Huawei was granted an extended license to continue rolling out Android software updates for the next three months so as to not negatively affect current Huawei smartphone users. Other moves could be made that will ultimately render the concept of a Huawei OS meaningless, but we're not there yet.

Google pulls Huawei's Android license, tossing its smartphone future into question