On Friday, Huawei is set to unveil its HongMeng OS – its alternative to Android which the US government is preventing Huawei from using. The smartphone maker have already found a rebound OS in the form of Hongmeng, an Android alternative developed in-house.
Huawei could put a smartphone using the HongMeng OS on the market in Q4, reports the China newspaper Global Times.
It is reported that the first use of HongMeng in a smartphone will be in a mid-to-low end phone – the Mate30 series – costing around $290.
However the first use of HongMeng will not be in phones but in Huwaei’s Honor smart TVs which are expected to be put on the market on Saturday. Other uses for HongMeng are said to be IoT, autonomous cars, remote medicine and industrial control.
There are suggestions that Huawei is currently running tests with the HongMeng OS to determine its compatibility with Android applications. Some reports says it could be 60% faster than Android, but we will wait for real tests.
Huawei is said to have big plans for the OS, hoping to get it to run on multiple platforms. Unlike Android, which is based on Linux, Huawei is said to be pursuing an approach like Google’s Fuchsia OS, basing it on a micro-kernel, which is better for AI, and more suitable for use in a variety of platforms.
The name Hongmeng might not mean much to non-Chinese speakers, but it has attracted attention in China. Unlike the seemingly random names from Western tech companies, Chinese tech companies draw heavily from local tradition – although some have chosen to pick names out of cookbooks or the zoo.
Hongmeng OS is named after a character from Chinese mythology that symbolizes primordial chaos, the world before creation. For some, the word has a special meaning: Breaking free of the chaos and starting something new from scratch.
Huawei seems to have registered all its products under the names of mythical beasts and places from Chinese legends. Huawei’s Kirin mobile chip got its name after a mythical lucky monster called Qilin. The company’s server chip is called Kunpeng, a giant bird that transforms from a fish. And Huawei’s servers are named Taishan after Mt. Tai, a mountain that has been a place of religious worship for around three millennia.
Sticking to Chinese tradition makes sense for Huawei, which is sometimes described as a bastion of traditional, hard-working tech-bro types.