Huawei starts its own Operating System HarmonyOS to compete with Android. Huawei has officially announced HarmonyOS. On Friday, Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei unveiled its own operating system as it faces the threat of losing access to Android systems amid escalating trade tensions between the US and China.
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Huawei starts its own Operating System HarmonyOS to compete with Android
Richard Yu, Head of Consumer Business at Huawei, informed a press conference in Dongguan’s southern town that the new scheme, called HarmonyOS or HongMeng, would “bring more harmony and comfort to the world.”
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The highly anticipated software is considered crucial to the survival of the tech group as it faces a looming White House ban on U.S. companies selling technology products to Huawei that could remove their access to the Android operating system of Google.
Huawei has officially announced HarmonyOS
Yu said the new system was “a more smooth and secure future-oriented OS” which he said was “completely different from Android and iOS.” Huawei said the operating system’s first version would launch in its intelligent screen products later this year, before expanding over the next three years across a spectrum of smart devices including wearable technology.
“If you ask when we’re going to apply this to the smartphone, we can do it anytime,” Yu said, adding that Google’s Android operating system, which is compatible with Harmony, has been given priority. “However, if in the future we can’t use it (Android), we can switch to the Harmony OS instantly,” he said.
The firm was swept into the deepening trade war between Beijing and Washington in May, which saw punitive tariffs slapping trillions of two-way trade dollars.
Huawei — considered the world leader in a superfast fifth generation or 5G equipment and the world’s number two smartphone manufacturer — was blacklisted by US President Donald Trump in the midst of suspicions that it provides a backdoor for Chinese intelligence services, something the firm denies.
Beijing slammed US rules on Thursday banning Huawei and other Chinese companies from government contracts, saying they amounted to “state power abuse.”
As a result of US moves to blacklist Huawei, American companies are theoretically no longer allowed to sell the company’s technology products, but Washington granted a three-month exemption period – ending next week – before the measure came into force.
That ban could stop the Chinese tech company from getting hold of important hardware and software including smartphone chips and Google Android operating system components, which equips the vast majority of the world’s smartphones, including Huawei’s.
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Huawei has reportedly been working on its own operating system since 2012, but the group has always said openly that it does not want a home operating system to replace its Android devices.
In an interview published in March, Yu told the German newspaper, Die Welt, that creating their own operating system was “Plan B.” Kenny Liew, the technology analyst at Fitch Solutions, told AFP, Huawei will be able to “develop a brand new ecosystem at a lower cost” and “mitigate its dependence on US suppliers for its software needs.”
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However, smartphones using the system would mainly be confined to the Chinese market, Liew said. It is a complex affair to develop an operating system and the entire accompanying ecosystem. Other than Google’s Android, Apple’s iOS, available exclusively on the iPhone, is the only other popular operating system.
Earlier this year, Microsoft pulled the plug on its Windows Phone platform, and compared to Android and iOS, Samsung’s Tizen system is hardly known. But without access to the full version of Android or Google’s popular services — not to mention the many apps available in the Google Play store — Huawei may find it difficult to convince consumers outside of China to buy their phones.