Huawei stepped up efforts to develop an alternative to Android, with the company preparing to launch its own operating system by the fourth quarter or early 2020, Nikkei Asian Review reported.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group, said the OS will be compatible with its handsets, tablets and PCs, the newspaper said, citing Chinese media reports.

The company could be left seeking an alternative to Google’s platform after being blacklisted by US authorities.

Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said the company can and will develop its own operating system, local media reported. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported Huawei’s VP for Europe Abraham Liu said at a launch event an “alternative option will naturally come out, either from Huawei or someone else”, if its devices are blocked from Google services.

The vendor declined to comment on its OS efforts, so it’s unclear if it is working on an entirely new OS or an Android fork, which analysts reckon is more feasible.

In 2018, the company played down reports it was planning to develop its own mobile platform to reduce its reliance on the Android operating system.

Limited impact
Richard Windsor, founder of research blog Radio Free Mobile, said in a post the immediate impact of the Android ban will be negligible, as current devices will be unaffected and Huawei has launched its main models for 2019.

He noted the company won’t lose access to Android itself, which is open source, but Android devices outside of China must offer access to Google services “to have any prospect of being sold”.

In a statement, the vendor said it will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphones and tablets.