Even with the US-China trade tensions easing somewhat over the past month, Huawei continues to work on its in-house operating system, HongMeng OS, which is also expected to be marketed as ‘Ark OS’ in some markets. While media reports over the past few weeks have consistently claimed that that the new software is being prepared as an alternative to Android, the company last week denied those claims, and asserted that it is not meant to be an Android alternative.
According to China’s state-owned Xinhua news agency, the company’s board member and senior Vice President, Catherine Chen, reiterated those claims at a media roundtable in Brussels on Thursday, saying the OS is not for smartphones. According to her, Hongmeng is for industrial use and has been in development long before the current discussions around finding an alternative to Android. She also confirmed that the company intends to continue using Android on its phones and tablets for the foreseeable future.
She also echoed earlier statements from Huawei Executive, Liang Hua, who had claimed that Hongmeng OS is primarily developed for IoT devices to reduce latency. According to her, Hongmeng is a concise operating system with barely a few hundred thousand lines of code instead of the millions one would expect in a full-fledged, consumer-oriented OS.
It is worth noting here that a new trademark application from Huawei recently revealed that alongside HongMeng, the company is also working on yet another operating system called ‘Harmony OS’ for smartphones and computers. It’s not immediately clear at this stage whether Harmony will be another name for HongMeng OS or if it will be a completely different piece of software altogether, although, some sections of the media seem to believe it’s the former.