Huawei is reportedly set to release Hongmeng-powered smartphones by the end of this year, according to Global Times.
U.S. government ban controversy
In May, 2019, the U.S. government banned Huawei from using any software or hardware created by American companies, which included Google's Android OS.
The ban was temporarily lifted less than two months later during the G20 Summit in Osaka, but Huawei was still blacklisted by the U.S. Commerce Department.
Hongmeng OS to be released this week
The Hongmeng OS will apparently be released this week at Huawei's Developer Conference on August 9th. The self-developed OS will be equipped on the Honor Smart TV series, which will be available in market from August 10.
The Chinese company also has plans to expand Hongmeng into other fields such as autonomous driving and remote medical services.
Initially intended for "industrial use"
Top Huawei executives had hinted that Hongmeng was primarily intended for IoT (Internet of Things) and industrial use.
Last month, Huawei Chairman Liang Hua said that the company still preferred using Google's Android OS for its mobile devices, referring to Hongmeng as part of the Chinese's company's "long-term strategy".
In fact, he was even quoted saying they have not even decided if HongMeng “can be developed as a smartphone operating system in the future”.
However, according to Global Times, the company's executives said that Hongmeng could be expanded to Huawei's smartphones if the U.S. government were to block Huawei's access to Google's Android OS services again.
Smartphone to be targeted at low-end market
The smartphone will reportedly cost 2,000 yuan (S$398) to attract software developers and users to join Huawei's ecosystem.
The Hongmeng phones are apparently set for a fourth quarter debut.
Despite the controversial ban in May, Huawei's revenue in the first half of 2019 managed to grow by 23%, thanks to the strong domestic demand for its mobile phones, attributed in part due to patriotism among its domestic consumers.
Photo collage via Huawei Smartphones Facebook page and Huawei Singapore Facebook page