According to media startup The Bell, one of Huawei’s rotating chairmen, Guo Ping, discussed potentially using Sailfish-based Aurora OS on Huawei devices with Konstantin Noskov, Russia’s minister of digital development, communications and mass media.
Huawei is allegedly testing Aurora on its devices as a pre-installed OS.
Further, Guo reportedly discussed the possibility of moving part of the production of chips and devices to Russia.
Rostelcom, which partially owns the developer behind Aurora OS, told The Bell that it hasn’t heard about the talks, but was prepared to work with all developers of mobile solutions.
What is Sailfish OS?
For the unfamiliar, Sailfish OS is a Linux distribution developed by Finnish tech company Jolla, which was behind Nokia’s doomed MeeGo OS. Sailfish comes pre-installed on four devices, but can also be installed on the Sony Xperia X, XA2, XA2 Plus and XA2 Ultra.
Sailfish OS is entirely open source, meaning anyone can get the code and customize or tweak the software as they see fit. Android, however, is based on open source code but has software running over it that isn’t open source.
Additionally, Sailfish OS boasts Android app compatibility, a gesture-based navigation system and multitasking reminiscent of Android and iOS devices, and plenty more.
Plus, Sailfish OS is private. Jolla says it only collects information needed to run its services and doesn’t sell your data to third parties without your consent. Additionally, Jolla doesn’t collect any data without your permission.
However, it’s not clear how much of this translates to Aurora OS, especially in the privacy department. According to Nokiamob, Aurora OS is mostly the same as Sailfish, with the significant difference being a lack of Android app support.
Regardless, this could be a step in the right direction for Huawei. A privacy-focussed OS could quell any fears around spying, and using Sailfish or a fork of that OS would mean Huawei doesn’t have to develop and promote its own mobile operating system — a difficult task that even Microsoft couldn’t do with Windows Mobile OS.