Huawei Reportedly Working on Budget Smartphone Powered by Proprietary ‘Hongmeng OS’

Huawei has been testing a smartphone running Hongmeng OS, with a possible plan to launch the device before the end of the year.

The report comes from Chinese state media publication Global Times (via Reuters) and adds a little more uncertainty to exactly what Huawei’s plans are for its home-baked operating system.

Rather than it be a flagship premium smartphone like the P-series and Mate series devices, the Homemeng-powered phone is rumoured to fit in the budget end of the market.

Its sub-$300 CAD rumoured price point certainly makes it feel a little more experimental than Huawei’s usual phones, and perhaps indicates less risk if the bet doesn’t pay off. Perhaps also indicating that confidence isn’t sky high with this in house software.

Details around Hongmeng OS are still pretty scarce, but Huawei executives have referred to it as an operating system designed for connected internet-of-things products. An upcoming range of Honor TVs is expected to form the first wave of Hongmeng-powered devices.

The report also gives us a little bit of detail on the mysterious Hongmeng OS itself. The publication’s sources suggest that the OS has more in common with Google’s Fuchsia OS than Android, having been built on a microkernel to better support multiple platforms and easily accommodate artificial intelligence features.

Huawei is yet to formally confirm if Hongmeng will power future smartphones, with the company’s chairman saying it would prefer to use Google’s Android for handsets, but the switch could happen in the future as a part of their long-term strategy.