Telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co is undertaking a confidential project to develop its own operating system (OS), domestic news portal sina.com reported on Thursday, a move expert said aims to reduce its reliance on Google's Android OS and capture overseas markets.
Technology news sites have reported rumors circulating in the industry that Google might strengthen its control of the Android system over third-party devices or restrict original equipment manufacturers' (OEMs') use of functions and supporting services within the Android system.
Android OS has been a free, open-source software for years, and Google allows OEMs to customize and adjust its functions as they wish.
If Google is changing its policy on Android, then Huawei should come up with an alternative to avoid being plunged into an embarrassing situation, the sina.com report noted.
That's a major reason for Huawei's reported pursuit of its own OS, and it also explains why South Korea-based Samsung has released a mobile OS called Tizen.
Also, Huawei is pursuing expansion in overseas markets, especially in the US and Europe, where it faces strong competitors like Apple and Samsung in the mobile industry, expert said.
"Huawei's increasing revenues give it the capital to develop a unique OS that is resembles neither Android nor [Apple's] iOS, while meeting the demand of Western consumers," Wang Yanhui, secretary-general of the Mobile China Alliance, told the Global Times on Thursday.
In line with the company's development goals, former Apple creative director, Abigail Brody was hired by Huawei in 2015 as the chief user experience designer.
Huawei didn't respond to an interview request from the Global Times as of press time.
Media reports indicate that the OS project is still in its infancy, with a team in Scandinavia that includes former Nokia engineers.
Although innovative strides made by Huawei make the project's future a bright one, Wang also warned that it will take time to develop an entirely new OS.
"Any mobile OS relies heavily on its ecosystem. Currently, almost all the mobile applications have two versions - Android and iOS. But are they willing to develop a new and unique version for Huawei?" Wang said.
"So Huawei will opt to apply the OS first on its smartwatches and bands, and then gradually to other consumer electronic products like set-top boxes and finally to its mobile," Wang noted.
In 2015, Huawei's research and development spending increased 46.1 percent year-on-year to 59.6 billion yuan ($9.2 billion), accounting for 15 percent of its sales revenue, its financial statements show.
The company also leads in terms of international corporate patent filings with a record of 3,898 filings in 2015, topping the global list for the second consecutive year, according to the Xinhua News Agency, which cited the World Intellectual Property Organization.
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