Huawei Is Building its Own OS, Map Service To Rival Google


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Amid the raging US-China trade war, Huawei is creating its own alternative to Android.

Huawei has been in a rather ropy position lately. Primarily, it was caught in the continuing trade conflict between the US and China and became one of the many companies that the Trump administration had blacklisted.

This implies a lot for the Chinese company, one of which is the possible loss of Android service on their future phones.

Huawei, however, was not caught off guard. For several years now, they have developed their own operating system and finally unveiled it this month, calling it Harmony OS.

In a recent Chinese press report, there has been talk of the developer’s new mapping service which will probably see the smartphone of the electronics producer trace their way independently of Google Maps.

“A Huawei consumer-facing map app could find success in the Chinese market, despite being a late entry to a crowded market,” Business Insider France explains.

“In China, a host of alternatives to Google Maps sprang up after Google exited the market in 2010, including Baidu Maps and OsmAnd.”

However, that does not appear to be the case at the moment. The focus of Huawei at this stage is B2B instead of B2C.

“Huawei’s mapping service, known as Map Kit, is not directly for consumer use, but is designed to encourage software developers to come up with applications based on its mapping capabilities,” China Daily reports. 

The newspaper stated that the Map Kit was linked to local mapping facilities covering 150 nations and areas.

It appears that Map Kit is helping software developers to build their own range of services, often dependent on US technology, with the mapping infrastructure supplied by such companies as Google.

Huawei said, however, that “for now,” it intends to continue to use Android on its phones. How long they can do so is not clear.

The situation regarding whether they can use Android continues to be “unclear”, but current products sold in the Google OS won’t get hit, reported CNBC. Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer division, said in a news release following the revelation from the HarmonyOS. “We’re looking forward to an update,” he said.

Nevertheless, Huawei will be obliged to pursue their own apps and services if the trade war keeps escalating as it has been in recent months. Huawei believes that if Android is cut off from them, they “can switch to HarmonyOS immediately.”

Richard Yu estimates the OS to be available on the international market and China by the end of the year and by mid-2020. IoT (Internet of Things) will be the main focus of this project.


Anirudh Muley
Anirudh Muley
Anirudh is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Clickdotme. He does not like describing himself in the third-person and had a hard time coming up with these two sentences!

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