According to a leak on the GizmoChina website, Chinese manufacturer Huawei could be ready to release its own mobile operating system. As Samsung did with Tizen, Huawei could, in part, reduce its dependence on Android with its next smartphones.
This operating system, developed internally by Huawei, would be called Kirin OS and could, in the long run, replace Android on certain products. No leak has mentioned any precise details on the system, but this decision is hardly trivial, coming from the fourth biggest vendor of smartphones in the world. Until now, all of Huawei's products use Android, enhanced by a customized user interface (UI) on top, as is the case with other manufacturers. The idea of having its own operating system is following in the footsteps of what Samsung did with Tizen.
However, this is still only a rumor, and it shouldn't prevent Huawei from working simultaneously for Google on an upcoming Nexus smartphone.
Alternatives from various players
Carving out out market share against Android and iOS has become increasingly challenging for other operating systems; in this first part of 2015, according to IDC, the two account for more than 96% of smartphone sales around the world.
Samsung, in collaboration with Intel, has nonetheless developed Tizen, an open and multi-platform operating system that is compatible with Android and Firefox OS applications. Tizen is already built into some of the South Korean company's watches and on one low-cost smartphone, the Z1, which is sold in some emerging markets.
Other players are betting on the low-cost game, as exemplified by Mozilla and its Firefox OS, installed on certain entry-level smartphones. Firefox OS is designed to be used as an operating system across all different types of screens, from smartphones to televisions, in-car systems to connected watches. Computer software company Canonical also offers a low-cost alternative called Ubuntu Touch, a mobile version of Linux, already available in certain European countries.
Finally, Cyanogen, creators of CyanogenMod, a mobile operating system based on Android but that could be substituted for it, hopes to become the third player on the market behind Android and iOS. Cyanogen has garnered support from Qualcomm, Telefonica, Twitter and Rupert Murdoch's group.