Huawei said this week that it's planning to establish a stronger presence in the US - but it may also be hoping to boost its global prospects in the smartphone market by edging away from Google's Android operating system.
According to The Information, Huawei has started work on building its own mobile OS, with a development team based in Scandinavia that includes former Nokia employees. The report claims that Huawei "doesn't want to be on the crutch of Android", with the future of its products tied so closely to an OS that it doesn't fully control.
Like many Android manufacturers, Huawei does add its own touches to the OS with its EMUI interface, and while efforts to develop its own OS continue, Huawei will continue to work with Android, and to improve EMUI further.
Indeed, Abigail Brody - Huawei's design chief, who joined the company from Apple - referred to significant improvements on the way to EMUI, which will fix "glaring cosmetic issues" and "pain points". A major overhaul is in the works, to bring the interface more closely in line with Google's Material Design visual language, along with a new app drawer.
Huawei isn't the only big Android manufacturer to be considering a move away from Android. A Samsung executive said last week that the South Korean company is already preparing to use its in-house Tizen OS for more of its future products, explaining: "If you don't have your own ecosystem, then you will have no future."