Huawei is reportedly building its own mobile OS, but will anyone want it?

Huawei is reportedly building its own mobile OS, but will anyone want it?
Credit: Ben Woods/TNW

Depending on where you live, Huawei may or may not be a major brand in the Android smartphone segment. But rest assured, it’s huge around the world. According to IDC’s global report for phone shipments in Q1 2016, the company ranks as the third largest vendor on the planet, behind Samsung and Apple.

Now, Huawei is gearing up to reinvent itself. In addition to hiring ex-Apple designer Abigail Brody to revamp its EMUI Android skin, The Information reports that the company is developing its own mobile OS.

The publication notes that the new platform is ‘meant as a contingency measure in case Google further tightens its grip on Android or stops offering it to smartphone makers.’ The team working on this is comprised of ex-Nokia employees and is based in Scandinavia. The Information’s sources add that it isn’t far along in its progress at present.

You’re probably thinking, hell, I don’t need another OS – and you’re mostly right. Without a large app ecosystem, any new platform will likely be doomed to fail in the wake of stiff competition from Android and iOS. The contingency argument is the only one that makes sense for Huawei or any other manufacturer at this point.

However, Google hasn’t shown any signs of wanting to shut hardware makers out. It’s always partnered with various companies to build its Nexus line of flagship Android phones and tablets and there are now hundreds of phone brands that rely on the OS for their devices.

If anything, Huawei might be better off currying Google’s favor to make sure it stays in the search giant’s good books and continue to sell Android-based devices. Perhaps, in hiring Brody to improve its software layer and attempt to deliver a better Android experience, it’s already figured out one of the best ways of doing that.

That’s not to say that a better OS can’t be built – but developing it in fear of being shut out is probably not the best approach for such a monumental challenge.

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