Despite the highly-publicised launch of its personal HarmonyOS, Huawei is reportedly getting ready a pilot-test of Russia’s Aurora OS on its cell gadgets. Aurora is based mostly on the Sailfish OS, which was developed in Finland earlier than its adoption by the Russian Open Mobile Platform with the backing of oligarch Grigory Berezkin. In 2018, state-owned service Rostelecom acquired a 75% share within the Open Mobile Platform, offering a direct hyperlink into the federal government and its ITC ministries.
As I reported again in June, Russian media claimed that Huawei had “discussed the possible transition of smartphones to Sailfish with [Russia’s] minister of digital development and communications.” According to these stories, “the topic was raised at meetings between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping” on the 2019 St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
The political symbolism and the potential for heightened collaboration between China and Russia had put this excessive on the agenda on either side.
And so to this week, and to a report from Reuters that Huawei is getting set to put in Aurora “on 360,000 of its tablets to conduct Russia’s population census next year.” Reuters’ unnamed sources additionally claimed that the pilot venture is “the first stage of launching the Russian OS on Huawei devices.”
This is in step with the stories from June, that a person engaged within the discussions between Huawei and Russian officers had claimed “China is already testing devices with the Aurora pre-installed,” and Aurora is to be put in on “various” Huawei gadgets “instead of Google’s Android system.”
The identical June stories steered Huawei would possibly start some Russian manufacturing, together with “the joint production of chips and software.” The indisputable fact that the preliminary pilot seems set to be a Russian authorities program is in step with the implication that there is a deeper stage of collaboration behind the scenes right here.
Rostelecom is closely engaged in Russia’s census, and informed Reuters that “various options for collaboration with Huawei are currently being considered with participation of the Ministry of Communications—we don’t disclose details yet, there is an agreement on confidentiality.”
As I’ve written extensively earlier than, HarmonyOS shouldn’t be a substitute for Android on smartphones, it’s an IoT platform. Huawei has acknowledged this and that the toughest a part of launching such a substitute onto the worldwide smartphone market is the ecosystem of apps and builders. If the model goes to shift from Android, embarking on all that effort, then different choices are clearly being thought of.
The fascinating context right here is the potential for Russia to assist Huawei in future chip and design and improvement—an extra problem for the corporate within the mild of U.S. restrictions on its provide chain. And so this information will gas ongoing evaluation of the technical cut up rising between China and Russia on one facet, and the broader worldwide market—led by the U.S.—on the opposite.
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