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Huawei developing its own mobile operating system as a backup to Android

News by Andrew Kameka on Tuesday September 25, 2012.

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Huawei has spent the past two decades developing telecommunications gear and unbranded phones for network operators. The company wants to become a bigger player in the smartphone market, and it will use multiple operating systems to achieve that goal if necessary. Though Huawei has released several Android phones in the past two years and has plans to support Windows Phone 8 in the coming months, the company is also developing an in-house mobile operating system as part of a contingency plan. Huawei Device CEO Wan Biao told Reuters:

"We're also devoting resources into coming up with a phone operating system based on our current platform in case other companies won't let us use their system one day."

Biao's comments are likely in reference to the recent news that Google pressured Acer to abandon its Aliyun OS phone because of its commitments to the Open Handset Alliance. Huawei is also a member of the alliance, so it also would be prohibited from developing any Android-derived operating systems that disrupt app compatibility. The company may develop another operating system that isn't based on Android, so the unnamed Huawei OS in development would have to create a unique opportunity for the company to standout in a crowded smartphone market increasingly dominated by Android and iOS. According to Biao, Huawei's OS would be a last resort, used only if disputes or market changes forced the company to pursue other options.

Huawei wouldn't be the first Android manufacturer to flirt with self-run operating systems. Former Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha openly expressed his desire to build an alternative to Android to diversify Motorola's options, and Samsung has invested in its own Bada OS. Huawei may eventually decide to release its operating system regardless of whether it clashes with Google or Microsoft, but the company plans to continue development to provide an alternative. For now, Huawei will take a carpet-bombing approach to smartphones and release phones at multiple price points with multiple operating systems. "Whatever consumers like, we'll develop," said Biao.

source: Reuters

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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