The Cuban government is working on the production of a new smartphone, which will have an original operating system and with the help of Chinese company Huawei.
According to the magazine Vice, the project is part of Cuba’s attempt to keep up with the technological revolution, albeit on its own terms, which begs the question: Will the Cubans themselves want this smartphone?
For starters, the idea of eventually creating a original operating system means that your users will not be able to use foreign apps like Facebook or Instagram as they will not be compatible.
“There is definitely a talent for making a good phone. I think people will be willing to try it, but news will also travel fast if it sucks,” Michaelanne Thomas, who investigates the Cuban Internet at the University of Michigan, in the United States, told the same publication.
In addition, there is also the possibility of this apparatus giving the Government a new way of watch the population. “They will have their own device, endemic to the island. I am sure that, in this same vein, it will give them more control”, adds Thomas.
However, since Cubans already expect to be watched online through other ways, the worry of a government-made mobile phone may not weigh as much as one might expect, he says.
According to the same publication, the project, which has been “marinating” since at least 2015, was made public last month through a tweet that shows a blue prototype that looks a lot like an android.
You first six thousand prototypes are already being produced, according to state-owned company Gedeme, but the official release date is still uncertain.
THE Vice He also writes that Cuba received the materials needed to build the prototypes through a partnership with the Chinese company Huawei. Previously, this company had also helped the country to build its firewall.
“Cuba has a long history of creating its own technology. It’s a way to show the world that the embargo does not hinder its development“explained David Nemer, professor of media studies at the University of Virginia.