What you need to know

  • Huawei's been working on an Android alternative since 2012.
  • The custom OS can still run Android apps.
  • It could launch in Fall 2019.

Huawei's relationship with the United States has been anything but smooth over the last year, but this past weekend saw the company take its biggest hit yet. Now with there being a very real possibility that Huawei could lose access to Google apps/services, new information has come out regarding the company's backup plan.

Thanks to a report from Caijing, we now know that Huawei's been developing its own operating system as an alternative to Android since as far back as 2012. The name of the OS isn't mentioned, but Huawei CEO Richard Yu revealed in the report that the OS natively runs Android apps out of the box.

Developers can recompile their apps to have better performance on the operating system, but that sort of functionality right from the get-go is quite impressive. We saw something similar with BlackBerry 10, but this is a feature even Samsung's Tizen doesn't offer.

As for when the OS will launch, we don't have an exact date quite yet. Huawei could release it as early as Fall 2019 or wait until early 2020.

It remains to be seen what'll happen with Huawei and its Google services access by then, but at the very least, it sounds like Huawei has a viable Plan B should the U.S. government push through with its ban.

Losing Google support would irreparably damage Huawei's global smartphone business