Huawei Ark OS Revealed

Huawei was placed on the US Entity List in May, prohibiting companies like Google and Microsoft from conducting business with the Chinese manufacturer. Has this has cast a shadow on the future of Huawei’s smartphone development? Well, maybe not.

As Ren Zhengfei explained, “the company was prepared to take on the United States and will not be too adversely affected by the trade ban.”

the company was prepared to take on the United States and will not be too adversely affected by the trade ban.”

Ren Zhengfei

The most immediate consequence for consumers of the blacklisting is the revocation of Huawei’s Android license, which will prevent it from launching new smartphones with Google-certified versions of Android installed. Additionally, new Huawei devices will not come pre-loaded with Google apps and services like YouTube, Chrome or the Play Store.

Not to be outdone, Facebook has also suspended the pre-loading of its apps onto Huawei devices. In future, all new Huawei smartphones are not licensed to ship with Facebook, WhatsApp, or Instagram pre-installed.

Ark OS Design

It is understood that Huawei has been investing heavily in research and development to bring its own smartphone operating system to market. The blacklisting has only highlighted the urgency to complete the development.

Key requirements of Ark OS is that it needs to run across all of both the mobile and desktop platforms to ensure that it continues to deliver smartphones and PC hardware to customers without the support of Microsoft and Google.  

Information surrounding the operating system is starting to surface and many reports state that the operating system was initially code-named HongMeng OS. However, Huawei has already filed patents across the European market for a new operating system named “Ark OS”. This has raised speculation that the operating system will launch in the West under this name. Below is one of the “leaked” images of the Weather App info screen from the Ark OS patent filing

Compatibility and Performance

The design in the above Ark OS screenshot features similarities to Android leading many to speculate that Huawei is building its OS on the open-source version of Google’s operating system. This implies that Ark OS will be compatible with Android applications, but Huawei will still be unable to pre-load Google apps and services on its devices.

HuaweiCentral confirmed that Huawei’s upcoming operating system will be compatible with all Android applications, including Google apps. It was also reported by the Global Times that Huawei’s upcoming operating system would be much faster than Android; a staggering 60% faster in fact. Tests are underway at companies including Oppo, Vivi and Tencent.

Huawei has not issued any official statement regarding the launch date or for that matter, the rollout of Ark OS for smartphones and PC’s, but reports place the date somewhere between Q3 2019 to March 2020, when the new flagship smartphones are launched.

Ryan Danvers
Founding member ABACON IT