Huawei’s Harmony OS came in existence following the US trade ban which stroke last year and although the ban had a major impact on Huawei’s phone, it still manages to emerge as the top smartphone seller in 2020. Now, however, Huawei is preparing to switch from the Android OS completely to its home-baked mobile OS, the Harmony OS.
Huawei’s Harmony OS was only available for smartwatches, TVs and head units but now the company has announced Harmony OS 2.0 which now extends the OS to the mobile platform. Huawei has reportedly invested hundreds of millions of dollars in developing its Harmony OS ecosystem and now reckons it has reached 70-80 per cent of the performance features of Android OS, and the system is improving nearly every day.
Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer businesses said Huawei would make Harmony available to other Chinese smartphone makers, assuming the US continues its tech crusade. That, in turn, will kick-start a parallel smartphone ecosystem to rival Android and iOS.
❝Since May 16, 2019, major chips and technologies from the US have not been available (to Huawei). But we have prepared for nearly 10 years to develop our own chips, software, and supplies, so the first round of US sanctions was not a crisis for Huawei,❞ Yu said, although the sanctions have had a greater impact on Huawei’s consumer businesses since Google’s ecosystem can’t be used in overseas markets.
On August 17 this year, the US tightened its restriction so that no one can sell chips made with US technology to Huawei.
❝This has caused a huge crisis for us. We are working day and night to solve the problem… we can still hold on for a while, but it is indeed a difficult period when your own designed good chips cannot be produced, and other people’s chips cannot be sold to us,❞ Yu said.
The Chinese brand confirmed that a beta version of the Harmony OS 2.0 SDK will be available from September 10, 2020, on smartwatches, TVs, and head units. The firm added that a beta version of the developer tools will come to smartphones in December 2020.
Huawei already has launched its own mobile service the HMS and several other apps like App Gallery, Huawei Map Kit, Huawei search, Celia Assistant and more to rival its Google counterparts. Except Huawei is planning to become more like Apple, it may be difficult for the company to make other Chinese brands adopt its new OS and if everything plays well, we may be seeing phones with different OS options in the future..